Waking up with the Kings: January 12 - LA Kings Insider

After once again dominating the run of play and outchancing their opponents disproportionately, the Los Angeles Kings were unable to build on a 1-0 first period lead and ultimately lost a tense 3-1 game to the Detroit Red Wings by allowing a pair of even strength goals over the game’s final 10 minutes. In comparison to the Minnesota game, where Los Angeles’ possession numbers were also off-the-charts, last night the Kings generated a greater collection of A-type chances and a higher quality net-front presence. Similar to the Minnesota game – and the recent games against Dallas and St. Louis – the Kings couldn’t take advantage of an opponent that limped into arena with major pieces missing from its core due to injury. The Red Wings have one of the oldest cores in the National Hockey League, and with players such as Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen out due to injury, the game hinged on performances by emerging players such as 23-year-old Tomas Tatar, who scored the game winner, 22-year-old Riley Sheahan, who scored his first career goal and was dangerous and useful throughout his 13-plus minutes, and 24-year-old Luke Glendening, who made the key hit on Jake Muzzin to force a turnover and assist on a valuable insurance goal.

There’s no real right or wrong way to look at Mike Richards’ performance. The positives? With eight shots on goal last night – the most he has recorded in a regular season game since March, 2008 – he was the purposeful catalyst of the Kings’ offensive attack and appeared as heavily involved in creating opportunities as any L.A. forward. Last night was among his best performances of the season. The negatives? He hasn’t scored since his game-tying goal late in the eventual overtime win at Vancouver three days before Thanksgiving, which makes adjectives such as “purposeful” and “involved” ring a bit hollow and representative the club’s scoring woes. If the Kings continue to receive performances such as the one he produced on Saturday night, the goals and points will come.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

Vancouver visits once again on Monday. Is there such thing as a “pivotal game” with more than 35 games remaining on the schedule? The Kings are 2-1-1 on a five-game home stand with their toes leaning over the precipice of a stretch of eight games away from STAPLES Center. Their only “home” game? The Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, where they’ll face the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks. They’ll travel to St. Louis, Detroit, Boston, Anaheim, San Jose and Phoenix – and let’s not forget a road game against a surging Columbus team that has won seven of 10 and has been a quality second half team over the last two seasons – before their next STAPLES Center game on January 30 against the East-leading Pittsburgh Penguins. Anything other than two points against the rival Canucks will represent a disappointing stretch that offered the club the opportunity to bank points in advance of its most challenging stretch of the season.

Stephen Dunn / Getty Images Sport

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


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.

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.