Waking up with the Kings: November 3 - LA Kings Insider

-Spotting a National Hockey League team a two-goal lead in the first period is never an optimal way to start a game, though when Anze Kopitar buried a Jake Muzzin rebound to bring the Los Angeles Kings within one 37 seconds before the first intermission, the buoyancy appeared to rebound as the team would have a chance to carry momentum into the second period after outshooting the Nashville Predators 14-6 in the opening frame. That didn’t happen. Nashville was the better team over the first half of the second period, and though they benefited from a fluky bounce off referee Mike Hasenfratz in setting up Eric Nystrom’s goal, referees are a part of the on-ice action, and fluky deflections occur. Perhaps it stings a little bit more because it appeared as though there were one or two high sticks on Tyler Toffoli that went unpenalized, but the real back breaker in this game was when Los Angeles fell behind by two goals in the second period. Also, Patric Hornqvist should be arrested for serial regicide, as he continues to kill the Kings. With three assists last night, he upped his career numbers to seven goals and six assists in 17 games against L.A. Those are impressive numbers considering the games between these two teams aren’t generally as high scoring as Saturday’s game.

-Speaking of Tyler Toffoli, he was excellent and well-deserving of his career-high 19:23 of ice time. He produced several high-tension moments for the Nashville defense, including an assist he earned by snapping the puck towards the net during a third period power play before Mike Richards tied the game by depositing a loose puck past Carter Hutton. His best moments might have come during a delayed call in the first period when he did an excellent job of finding space and recognizing Anze Kopitar entering the ice as an extra attacker before feeding him a pass between a pair sticks. He then found a soft spot near the tops of the circles, used his skate to receive the return pass from Kopitar, and fired off a high-quality opportunity from just inside the right circle that Hutton kicked aside. It was one of five shots by the 21-year-old.

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Hockey League

-The penalty killing is in the type of rut that has never really been associated with the team over the last three seasons. After killing off 14 consecutive power plays, Los Angeles has now conceded a goal while shorthanded in six straight games, going 17-for-26 over that span. Though Nashville’s second goal came as the result of some impressive puck movement between Hornqvist and Shea Weber, the first goal was a simple play in which David Legwand skated with impunity from the right wing half boards towards the tops of the circles and unleashed a hard wristshot against the grain, beating Jonathan Quick to the gloveside with Hornqvist in front. Nobody stepped up to provide pressure; both goals were lamented by Darryl Sutter during the post-game press conference. The Kings did end a seven-game streak of allowing their opponents at least four opportunities on the power play.

-There’s no word on Jarret Stoll’s ailment – and don’t expect one, given teams’ reluctance to disclose injuries – but if the Kings will be in the position to call up another player from Manchester, is it possible that we could see the reunion of the Pearson-Vey-Toffoli line at the NHL level? It’s an intriguing consideration, though it would obviously be less desirable than a quick return by Stoll.

-Carter Hutton made an excellent save on a Slava Voynov one-timer with under a minute to play in this game. It was the exact type of clutch third period save he was unable to make Thursday night, when the Predators let a two-goal lead slip away before losing in a shootout at Phoenix. Though he’s not out there to be Pekka Rinne, if he continues to make big saves duriung key situations, he’ll do an adequate job of holding down the fort until Nashville’s star goaltender returns from his hip injury.

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Hockey League

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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.