-The first place Tampa Bay Lightning entered Tuesday’s game having outscored opponents 17-8 in first periods this season, a tally that included a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Kings after 20 minutes when the teams met on Florida’s west coast in October. So much for that. The Kings carried much of the early possession Tuesday night and brought a 2-0 lead into the first intermission by virtue of heavy pressure and multiple Grade-A and Grade-B scoring chances. Even before the Kings opened the scoring, Dwight King had a hellacious hit on a forecheck to create a turnover before slipping the puck in front of the net to Tyler Toffoli, who was rebuffed from a sharp angle. Shortly afterwards, Jarret Stoll was denied on a backhand during some quality lateral movement by Ben Bishop. The chances continued, and the Kings were ultimately rewarded. Though they carried a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, this game was put away in the second period, when Los Angeles outscored Tampa Bay 3-1 while out-shooting the visitors 11-2. Though the Bolts are obviously less strong of a group without an active Steven Stamkos, there is still a lot of speed up and down their lineup to go along with defensemen capable of jumping in the rush and activating in the offensive zone, and the Kings’ performance during the first game back after a week-long road trip – a factor that occasionally weighs into a potentially slow start – was among their most impressive efforts of the season.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

-Erik Karlsson and Zdeno Chara will always be in the conversation for the Norris Trophy, while Ryan Suter and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are certainly offering strong cases this season. If you’re looking for the most dynamic 200-foot defenseman in the game, Drew Doughty needs to be in the forefront of the conversation. His first star performance Tuesday continued an impressive run by a player who is putting to rest a stigma of being someone whose game gradually elevates as the season progresses. In addition to the added penalty killing responsibilities he has inherited with Matt Greene out of the lineup, his four goals, 12 points and plus-5 rating through 22 games represents a stark upgrade over the eight assists and minus-five rating he registered through the first 22 games played last season. In addition to his two assists, he logged a team-high 3:45 of penalty killing time in last night’s win. With five assists and a plus-4 rating in November, his even strength pairing alongside Jake Muzzin certainly hasn’t hurt the team. Muzzin, meanwhile, leads the defense with .59 points per game.

Noah Graham / Getty Images Sport

-Speaking of defensive alignments, the pairing of Robyn Regehr with Slava Voynov is paying dividends for both players, as Voynov’s production has increased while Regehr has contributed with perhaps his finest stretch of play as a King. The team is 6-1-1 since adjusting the defensive pairings, with Voynov contributing six points (1-5=6) and a plus-six rating over that span to go along with Regehr’s plus-six rating. Plus-minus is obviously not the most descriptive stat, though in Regehr’s case it does confirm the eye-test, which has indicated that he has effectively used his size and positioning in the defensive zone to block shots, rub out players below the hash marks, and make life easier for Jonathan Quick and Ben Scrivens.

Noah Graham / Getty Images Sport

Noah Graham / Getty Images Sport

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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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