Waking up with the Kings: June 5 - LA Kings Insider

-While the Kings led by one after a rocky first period in Game 1 and performed quite well over the middle 17 minutes of the first period in Game 2 yet ended the period trailing 2-0, on Tuesday night the Los Angeles Kings both held a lead and opened with a strong 20 minutes in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Kings nearly led by two goals after the first when Drew Doughty’s shot squarely hit the far post on a blast from the right circle with under a minute remaining. Any way that it can be written up – and this write-up may be somewhat similar to previous L.A. home games – this was one of the team’s stronger 60-minute efforts of the postseason. It opened with a focused resolve led by Justin Williams’ strong forecheck and offensive zone play that led to the first goal and closed with a third period in which the Kings never went into a defensive shell or utilized any form of prevent defense. I liked the way the Kings didn’t alter their game in the third period and were still able to generate some zone time in the final 20 minutes despite Chicago’s inevitable push, the desperation of which didn’t begin in earnest until there were under five minutes remaining. While there were too many “holding on for dear life” moments in previous postseason wins, I never got that sense in Game 3.

-Though he didn’t score – or even register a shot in over 21 minutes (!) – I thought Anze Kopitar’s performance was an improvement from previous games of his in the series. When a player of Kopitar’s caliber – or Brown’s, as the case was against San Jose – is placed on the third line, it sends a message to the rest of the dressing room that the team’s best players and members of the leadership committee will do whatever it takes to win a hockey game. Of course, Kopitar still saw nearly five and a half minutes of power play time – and no shorthanded time, even in Richards’ absence, bizarrely – and in the third period saw a pair of shifts with Justin Williams and Dustin Brown.

-How about Matt Greene’s third period hit on Nick Leddy, who decided to skate the puck into the Kings’ end instead of chipping the puck deep? It developed into a quality Jeff Carter scoring opportunity in the other direction as he and Dustin Penner capitalized on an iffy Blackhawks line change and three Chicago forwards getting caught deep in the L.A. end on a late two-on-one.

-There were so many things to like about Justin Williams’ first period goal. Following some pressure from behind the net by Colin Fraser, he strips the puck from Nick Leddy and stickhandles through tight quarters to create space as Leddy and Brandon Saad were unable to steal the puck back – with Saad getting away with a hook. After a wide shot and a Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov exchange, the goal is set up beautifully with a Voynov slap/pass right back onto the stick of Williams, who beat a laterally-moving Corey Crawford with a quick snapper in between the goaltender and the near-post. Gorgeous goal.

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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


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.

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.