Though the Los Angeles Kings have opened the 2013-14 season by winning hockey games at an all-time franchise rate, recently the stretch of play had been maintained in spite of the team’s discipline woes. Only two teams – Philadelphia and Ottawa – have taken more minor penalties than Los Angeles’ 174.

The Kings haven’t earned more power plays than their opponent since a win over the New York Islanders on December 7 and have been shorthanded at least four times in four straight games and in eight of the last 11. Though Los Angeles is a quality possession team with a top-five shot differential at plus-3.8, they have curiously drawn 22 fewer power plays than they have allowed. In Monday’s loss to Dallas, Valeri Nichushkin scored the game-winning goal on a power play feed from Tyler Seguin, while Mike Fisher scored a go-ahead goal late in the third period of Saturday’s loss in Nashville that came while the Kings were shorthanded.

“We’ve got to be more disciplined. There’s no getting around it. We have to be more disciplined,” Jake Muzzin said. “Our penalty kill’s been good and needs to continue getting better. One way to make it better is less penalties, so you’ve got to take less penalties.”

The Kings’ penalty kill has emerged in recent years as one of the strongest aspects of a Cup contending team, and during the 2012 Stanley Cup run, Los Angeles killed off 70-of-76 shorthanded situations. By virtue of a 9-for-13 penalty killing stretch over the last three games, the Kings have dropped to seventh in the league with an 85.0% kill – which are still quality numbers despite the recent goals against.

Until this point, however, the opposition hadn’t been able to take advantage of the chances provided with the man advantage by any great margin. Los Angeles’ December penalty kill has killed off 39 of 46 shorthanded situations, an 84.8% rate.

So though teams generally will take advantage of surplus opportunities – as highlighted during this recent two-game skid – there’s not exactly a great deal of concern expressed by a team that has lost back-to-back games in regulation only twice this season.

“I don’t think there’s one single thing. I don’t think it’s an undisciplined thing,” Darryl Sutter said. “I think, for example, a boy like Tyler takes that holding penalty last night in the third period. Well, I don’t know if he had a penalty coming into it. It’s just something for you guys to single out and be critical of. We lose the odd game and [you] find reasons why we did.”

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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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