-The Kings’ 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets was an encouraging response to a San Jose shootout loss on Tuesday that saw Darryl Sutter and several players decry a surplus of turnovers. On Thursday night, the Kings faced a desperate and bought-in Columbus team that has made enormous strides in the second half of the season. Despite playing their fifth game in seven nights, the Blue Jackets matched up well in the possession battle, forechecked relentlessly and continued to get ample mileage out of its well-worn pair of scuffled work boots. “It’s the type of game that you expect with…four or five games left in the year,” Jonathan Quick said, an opinion backed by the multiple post-whistle scrums and the 88 hits accumulated by the two teams that can feature heavy styles of play.

-Drew Doughty has been terrific for most of the latter two-thirds of the season, and I cast my vote for him for the team’s Outstanding Defenseman and Best Defensive Player awards, citing the quality of competition he faces nightly and his 26:21 average ice time per night, which ranks third amongst NHL skaters with at least 15 games played. He’s a plus-14 over his last 31 games after reaching a nadir with a minus-11 rating following a 3-2 loss at Chicago on February 17. I reject the notion that Doughty’s production has been heavily related to the arrival of Robyn Regehr, or that Regehr’s presence offers some sort of “counterbalance” that allows Doughty more offensive freedom. Of Doughty’s seven points since Regehr’s arrival, only one point came in five-on-five play while Regehr was on the ice. Doughty’s surge in production is more heavily related to 1) An anomalously low shooting percentage for much of the first half of the season, 2) An outstanding Los Angeles power play, of which Regehr has no part, and 3) Doughty’s naturally dynamic ability in all ends of the ice that will allow him to record points in bunches. When Darryl Sutter was asked specifically after the win over Anaheim game last Saturday if Doughty’s production is a byproduct of Regehr’s presence, he answered “Probably the other way, quite honest. Bringing Robyn in – Robyn’s going to play in a shut-down role, so Drew has to assume some of that responsibility now.”

-Matt Greene took part in his first game action since January 19 and recorded five hits, two shots, two penalty minutes and a minus-one rating in 16:15 of ice time. More important than any numbers he racked up in the win was that he played without any hesitation and felt fine after the game. He was once again wearing an “A” on his jersey, a letter ceded to him by Mike Richards. Richards had worn the “A” in the 42 games in his absence. I’ll have more on Mike Richards

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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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