So often in the NHL, winning — particularly on offense — is attributed in large part to how much success a team’s third line can generate. In the Kings’ case, that’s bad news. Their top two lines, centered by Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards, respectively, can generally compare favorably against any team’s top two lines, but it’s the third line where things drop off dramatically for the Kings. Jarret Stoll, who totaled 20 goals and 23 assists last season, has only one goal and five assists in 22 games this season. His wingers aren’t contributing much either. The current pair, Kyle Clifford and Trent Hunter, has combined for one goal and four assists. Players such as Dustin Penner, Scott Parse, Brad Richardson and Ethan Moreau also didn’t show much in a third-line role. In Terry Murray’s view, though, it starts with the center. Stoll was expected to thrive when he moved from a second-line role to a third-line role, but so far the stats haven’t come, as Murray bluntly made it clear when asked about Stoll’s point numbers this season…

MURRAY: “What numbers? The role, it doesn’t change that much, to me. When you take a look at the way that a lot of teams are built in the NHL right now, they’re going more to the three-line look, and having a fourth line that can give you that grinding, hard game. To me, with our setup right now, we’ve got Kopitar and Richards, and with Stolly we have players who can shoot, can score, are not designated as checkers, per se. In games one through 22, I go back through those games and look at Kopitar and Richards. They end up playing against top lines in almost every one of those games. So I’m not just putting Stoll’s line into a situation of being the line against their top opposition. So they opportunity to play the game has not changed. His look, his role, has not change. Everybody, we need them to be responsible on the checking side of it. We want them to get the puck when we don’t have it and get back on the attack and create in the offensive zone. Numbers just have not fallen in place for us on that line, with that balance that we’re looking for and that depth we need to get on our hockey club in order to become a good hockey club on a consistent basis.’’

Question: How much of it is also finding the right wingers?

MURRAY: “I’ve always put the responsibility on the center iceman to make the wingers better. That is, to me, a job description that I’ve always kind of tagged the center iceman with. `We want the puck in your hands. We want it on your stick on breakouts. You’re the key guy, in the middle of the ice, to be available and to create something on the attack.’ That’s just what we need to get from that line. I think there’s size, there’s speed. Stolly is a shooter. Hunter is a shooter. We’ve got Cliffy on the left side, who is a puck-pursuit guy. He can recover pucks in the offensive zone, and he’s really good with net presence whenever we do get possession of the puck, with Stoll as a shooter. So we just need to get some results out of it. We need a better shot mentality, as a group. We’ve always talked about that. That still is a need that we talk about in our meetings. If we just start with that, and have people at the net, I think good things will start to happen with it.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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