Several notes I took during the Kings’ 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets Tuesday evening:

-Slava Voynov was excellent for the second consecutive game. His second period laser beam from inside the right point served as the game winner, and was clearly the right decision after it appeared there was a thought process over whether he should approach the puck and fire off a shot or drop back defensively. That slight hesitation allowed Vinny Prospal and Nick Holden to move into Steve Mason’s line of sight as screens, and I’m not sure if the right-catching goaltender ever really got a good view of the pinpoint shot. He’s also been keeping his shots low on the power play, increasing the potential for tips, deflections, and juicy rebounds. There were several Voynov point shots that were deflected just wide – Jarret Stoll had a piece of one – and because of a less-than-borderline call on a shaky incidental contact assessment in the first period, he was denied another point.

-Mike Richards may have played his best game of the season. Obviously, his third period insurance goal and his fight with Brandon Dubinsky caught the most attention, but his ability to get back while manning a point on the power play and get down on the ice to disrupt a Columbus shorthanded two-on-one attempt in the second period made life easier for Jonathan Quick. Jeff Carter scored a goal on that power play just over a minute later.

-Though he is still developing his play deep behind the goal line – and has made significant strides over the past year – I don’t worry much at all over Drew Doughty’s play on the Blue Jackets’ goal that tied the game at two in the second period. Though Doughty lost the handle on the puck near the goal line, there had been several opportunities to clear the puck prior to that moment by other members of the team, and a goal was appropriate at that moment following a sloppy shift. When you average over 28 minutes of ice time per game – Jack Johnson (28:38) and Doughty (28:20) rank first and second in the league in TOI – there are going to be the occasional hiccups. Doughty finished with three shots, tied for the team lead with three hits and led the team with three blocked shots and remains a horse that L.A. continues to ride.

-One game after recording nine shots on goal against Anaheim, Justin Williams earned the game’s first star with a terrific all-around effort. His move to cut towards the center of the ice to set up Richards’ insurance goal was vintage Williams – though it came from the opposite side of the ice and was deeper in the zone, it reminded me of the goal he scored in the Game 5 loss to New Jersey in last year’s Final. His quick cuts and slashes make him awfully adept at getting the puck quickly from the perimeter into central areas of the offensive zone where goals are scored.

-There’s still plenty of work to get to where the Kings want to be. The second period was one of the team’s best periods of the season, though there were stretches in the third period in which L.A. was back on its heels a bit. Had they been facing a team with elite goal scoring ability – Columbus now ranks tied with Dallas for the fewest goals-per-game in the league, at 1.90 – this could have been a game that went the other way. Fortunately Quick didn’t over commit and made an excellent lunging save on Derek Dorsett to preserve the lead in the third period, and the team achieved exactly what it had set out to do – open the road trip with two points.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
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.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS