After a sleepy start to Saturday’s matinee, the Los Angeles Kings gained momentum by denying the Colorado Avalanche the slightest sniff on the game’s first power play before using an icing call to their advantage, putting the Anze Kopitar line on the ice against the John Mitchell line. The Kings dominated possession during the ensuing shift, and after Drew Doughty blistered a shot towards the net from the left circle, Jeff Carter used a long reach to shuffle a loose puck past Semyon Varlamov to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. The Kings doubled the lead on a crisp single up the middle after Varlamov soft-tossed the puck to Justin Williams, though they came up short on multiple opportunities to turn the game into a three-goal affair as the opportunistic and skilled Avs used a pair of power play goals to even the game up. After denying the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne in his first shootout go-around, Martin Jones remained perfect after 65 minutes by making an acrobatic stop on Matt Duchene before stopping PA Parenteau and Ryan O’Reilly to cement his eighth consecutive win.

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Hockey League

Are the Kings at such a heightened level where other teams are taking solace in moral victories after losses at STAPLES Center? Said Patrick Roy yesterday afternoon, “I thought we showed a lot of character. Down 2-0, midway in the game, we had a big break coming back to that power play hitting the post and then we scored on our power play. You see how important it is to score power play goals. We scored two power play goals tonight. I thought it was a big point for us. No doubt about it.” Said Taylor Hall after Tuesday’s game: “For the most part, we showed a lot of really good things. They’re a heavy team. They like to get zone time on us and we managed to get out of a bit of a tough circumstance a couple times in the game. A good effort.” Said Dallas Eakins after Tuesday’s game: “I thought the last time we were here, we got pushed right out of the rink. It took an amazing goaltending performance to keep it close. Tonight I thought it was a much different game. I thought we were able to play with them.” Roy’s quote is understandable – the Avs earned a point in a game they trailed by two goals in the third period. The quotes by Hall and Eakins seemed more representative of a last place team trying to find some sort of positives out of a three-goal loss.

Stephen Dunn / Getty Images Sport

The Kings are 9-1-0 in December and have allowed even strength goals to the following players this month: Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Corvo, Erik Karlsson, Kris Versteeg and Patrick Marleau. Yes, the number of players to have scored an even strength goal over the last 10 games against the Kings nearly fits on one line. Much has been made about the team’s center depth, the possession game, the skaters’ 200-foot responsibility, and the supreme goaltending that has been a constant over the last two months. On Saturday, the team’s blue line was its strongest asset. Drew Doughty is beginning to emerge as a potential Norris Trophy candidate, Robyn Regehr and Jake Muzzin have to this point exceeded expectations, and Alec Martinez has made the most of his opportunity since stepping into an important role due to injuries on the back end. After Avalanche opportunities early on Saturday, the Kings did an excellent job of denying Colorado open space in the middle of the ice while at even strength.

Stephen Dunn / 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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