Kings looking to break through against Elliott - LA Kings Insider

When Dustin Brown rounded the corner underneath the left circle and slid into the near post during the third period of the 2-1 regulation loss to St. Louis in Game 2, he knocked the net off its moorings while displacing Brian Elliott in a collision that left the Blues goaltender punching the ice in apparent pain.

As the crowd watched Elliott attempt to skate off his apparent injury, it chanted his name in unison. “El-li-ott. El-li-ott.”

It was a much different tone than when Kings fans serenaded him by chanting his name at Staples Center during the Western Conference Semifinals one year ago.

This postseason, it’s Elliott’s contributions to St. Louis’ defensive efforts that have made the most noise. Backed by a deep defense that hasn’t allowed a surplus of quality opportunities, Elliott has stopped 76-of-79 shots in the series in producing a rather sharp 0.93 goals against average.

“He obviously is playing extremely solid,” Justin Williams said. “There’s not many holes right now, but we need to find ‘em. They’re there on every goalie, and we need to make our second and third opportunities count.”

The quality of the goaltending on opposite ends of the rink is a major factor in the teams’ penalty killing efforts. The Kings and Blues are a combined 2-for-23 on the power play through the first three games.

Elliott’s second round performance a season ago – he stopped 76-of-89 shots for a .854 save percentage last spring – is a distant thought. Instead, the 28-year-old’s April is a much more revealing background for what the Kings expected in this series. He posted back-to-back-to-back shutouts on April 7, 9 and 11 and limited the opponent to no goals or one goal in 10 of 13 starts ever since he rejoined the team from a conditioning assignment at AHL-Peoria. Prior to the Peoria assignment, he had a 3.65 goals against average and .851 save percentage.

“He’s a good goalie. He makes the first save pretty much every time,” Drew Doughty said. “I think the one area struggles is he lets some rebounds, and I think we haven’t been doing a good enough job of pouncing on those rebounds and putting in the second effort.”

“Goalies are huge in any series. Elliott played great in the first two games – that’s why they won two – and then Quickie was great [Saturday] night, and that’s why we won.”

Williams echoed Doughty’s idea of getting bodies and pucks deeper into St. Louis zone and into prime scoring areas in order to find better success against Elliott.

“Penetrate,” Williams said when asked about what the Kings need to do generate more offense. “We need to penetrate within their box. We need to beat guys to the net. We need to throw more pucks to the net. Sometimes I feel when you’re playing hockey, sometimes the puck that you shoot that you don’t think is going in ends up going in. It’s just getting it there, and we need to do a lot more of that.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.