Continuing the most compacted portion of the 2013-14 schedule, the Los Angeles Kings returned home and turned in a mostly fine performance in a 3-0 win over an Edmonton Oilers squad that ended a stretch of three games in four nights in which significant travel was involved. A much stiffer test will come on Thursday, as the team will continue an eight-games-in-14-days stretch against a San Jose Sharks team as part of a rivalry that heightens the emotion and theater of pre-Christmas hockey. On Tuesday, the Kings opened the game with an excellent opening 20 minutes in which they found success driving to the front of Edmonton’s net and if not for some fine Ilya Bryzgalov saves and several missed nets, there difference in the game could have been wider than one goal. The period also represented some of Los Angeles’ better success in generating controlled offensive zone entries, which was part of a theme of the overall game: though there haven’t been records kept for every game this season, the Kings’ 89 total zone entries surpassed the next highest game from the LAKI records this season by 12 successful entries. The 34 controlled zone entries ranked second amongst the games in which the statistic was tallied. Clearly, the Kings did a good job possessing the puck and transitioning Tuesday night, as they should have – Edmonton and Columbus are tied with a -2.9 shot on goal differential that ranks 26th in the league, and their team Corsi ratings are near the bottom of the league, while Los Angeles’ are near the top.

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Hockey League

Martin Jones. Wait, let me fix that. Martin Jones! It’s clear that the Kings enjoy playing in front of the unflappable rookie goaltender, who maintains a composed, stand-up presence in net. On the recent road trip I was asked multiple times whether anyone could play goal behind the Kings defense, and the answer was clearly ‘no.’ Not only has Jones been strong defending the limited Grade-A and Grade-B chances behind Los Angeles’ defense, he hasn’t really allowed any softies this season – maybe Erik Karlsson’s wristshot in Ottawa, perhaps? – and has given the team a chance to win every game he has started. The Kings have taken advantage. In his two previous shutouts against the New York Islanders and Montreal, Jones provided a first period backbone that allowed the team enough time to find their legs and eventually the back of the net. There was no such issue on Tuesday, as the Kings opened the game up with a strong first period and allowed a young goaltender to play much of the game with the lead.

Harry How / Getty Images Sport

After registering only one shot on goal Sunday night, the Kings’ defense did an excellent job getting shots through on Tuesday. Some credit must also be given to the Oilers’ wingers, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with getting in front of any shots. Los Angeles defensemen recorded 17 shots on goal and had only two attempts blocked last night. Edmonton forwards blocked a total of two shots – one by Ryan Smyth, the other by Ales Hemsky. The Kings threw 81 pucks towards the net and had only seven blocked. These numbers seem to support the “Oilers forwards don’t like to play in their own zone” argument. There were plenty of comments made about Matt Greene’s five shots on goal last night, which tied Drew Doughty for the team lead, but he was strong on every side of the puck. His play against Edmonton represented a significant step forward from his performance against Chicago, which was a challenging assignment in his return from an upper body injury.

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Hockey League

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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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