-After a strong 20 minutes, the Los Angeles Kings weathered the run of play that was decidedly against them for the final two periods and relied on a goal – at even strength! Off a shot by a defenseman! – by Slava Voynov and more tremendous work in net by Jonathan Quick to earn a victory in a critical game at Staples Center. As they did in Game 1, Los Angeles also benefited from St. Louis missing nets in opportune situations. They now trail a series by one game as their best players have not universally stepped up to become their best players. If Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter start finding their way on the scoresheet somewhat frequently (let’s not get too drunk on offense here; seven goals have been scored in three games), the advantage can shift back into Los Angeles’ favor.

-Both teams relied on a healthy penalty kill Saturday night. Though the Kings’ shorthanded play deserves recognition for its work on making zone entries difficult and keeping the Blues off the scoreboard late, St. Louis outshot L.A. 3-2 over the Kings’ four power plays, and David Backes had as good of an opportunity as any King did during a contested breakaway and subsequent scrum while shorthanded midway through a scoreless first period. Goaltenders must be their teams’ best penalty killers, and while the Kings were strong around the net and cleared up secondary opportunities, Quick was a heavy reason why the Kings were successful on the kill last night. The two teams are a combined 21-for-23 on the penalty kill in the series.

–The Kings utilized seven defensemen for the first time this season, and the inclusion of Alec Martinez seemed to pay dividends immediately as he jumped into a rush to create a 4-on-3 opportunity on his first shift and assisted on the game’s only goal. He didn’t win every battle behind the net and will be challenged at times against a heavy Blues forecheck, but his ability to jump into the play and positively affect Los Angeles’ offensive cadence is a useful asset in a series where there’s hardly an inch to be had. He didn’t look like a player who had sat out for a month.

-Dwight King hasn’t been the most popular player in the comments section of this blog, and his play over the first two games of the series was not at the level he demonstrated for much of the second half of last season. King was aggressive and quick to pucks on Saturday night, which was easily his best performance of the series and among his better games of the 2012-13 season.

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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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