The view from Dodger Stadium - LA Kings Insider


Helene Elliott: Wayne Gretzky helps make hockey game at Dodger Stadium a great one

And so it was, with Wayne Gretzky dropping the puck between the Kings and Ducks for the first NHL regular-season outdoor game played in California. Game-time temperature: 63 degrees, within the 60-to-64 degree temperature maintained in NHL rinks, no wind, and far more people in seats for the 7:17 opening faceoff than are in their seats for the first pitch at Dodgers games.

Lisa Dillman: It’s all goose eggs for Kings as Ducks pitch shutout at Dodger Stadium

So much was so different and so wildly out of the norm for the Kings and Ducks.

But one thing remained consistent on a night best diagnosed as severe mind overload in the outfield and the stands:

The Kings’ scoring woes are serious and profound.

Indoors and outdoors.


Elliott Teaford: Ducks’ Stadium Series victory over the Kings is one to remember

Winning, taking a 3-0 victory from the Kings in front of a sellout crowd of 54,099 at Dodger Stadium, made the first NHL game played outdoors in California all the more memorable for the league-leading Ducks. It was, in the end, a very enjoyable business trip.

Jill Painter: Hockey a huge hit at Dodger Stadium

Scully and Bob Miller, Hall of Fame broadcasters, came together for this special event under the Saturday night lights.

Baseball and hockey were partners for a day, creating a sports lover’s playground at Dodger Stadium.


Eric Stephens: Ice holds up and so do the Ducks at Dodger Stadium

Skeptics wondered how the league could possibly take a game rooted on frozen ponds in Canada and play in a place more akin to the desert. Those in cold climates pictured hockey players skating in pools of water.

Thanks to the abilities of Dan Craig, the NHL’s ice guru, and his refrigeration truck, the ice surface held up just fine and allowed the 54,099 of split loyalties to celebrate how far hockey has come in the Golden State.

Jeff Miller: Outdoor game once in a lifetime – and that’s plenty

It says we’re a nation so committed to being distracted, so determined to find an escape, that we’re taking our usual pastimes – the games that used to be enough on their own – and shaking them in the manner of a snow globe, curious to see the scene that develops.

So it was Friday that we walked into a baseball stadium to watch two hockey teams practice next to a temporary beach volleyball court, the NHL figuring why not help decide the Pacific Division by playing between two foul poles and in the center ring of a circus?


Greg Wyshynski: Kings, Ducks never thought they’d get their outdoor hockey moment

The Los Angeles Kings captain wasn’t sure if he’d ever get the opportunity to compete in a Winter Classic. The game has an Eastern bias, and caters to the Original Six; the Kings obviously don’t fit either category.

But what if, instead of the Kings going to an outdoor game, an outdoor game came to the Kings?

“Early on, you probably didn’t think about that, but each year you see them dial it in a little bit more. You start to see them get better with the whole outdoor ice thing, and you start to think,” he said.

Greg Wyshynksi: Ducks dominate at Dodger Stadium, shut out Kings in NHL outdoor game

The first outdoor NHL game in California began with temperatures around 62 degrees Fahrenheit, before dipping to 59 degrees by the end of the third period. The ice remained playable throughout the game, quelling fears about a game played after a day of LA sunshine.

Only twice was the ice possibly a factor: When Jeff Carter fell taking a shot for the Kings in the first, and when Cogliano flubbed a breakaway later in the game.


Loss to Ducks spoils outdoor experience for Kings

The Kings have put 120 shots on net against Anaheim in three games this season, with four goals to show for them. The outdoor game came in the middle of an eight-game stretch away from Staples Center for L.A., which has to snap out of its funk with a back-to-back set of road games against the San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes.

Dan Rosen: Ducks blank Kings in Stadium Series showdown

The Ducks would go on for a 3-0 win in front of 54,099, but the result came long after the players followed the rubber matting under their skate guards to the brand new hockey rink stretching from third to first in Dodger Stadium, the third oldest ballpark in baseball, a 52-year-old L.A. landmark.

Legendary broadcasters Vin Scully and Bob Miller emceed the opening act while standing on the interlocking LA behind the stage built atop home plate and not far from a street hockey court. The crowd stood and cheered wildly.


Eric Duhatschek: Ice conditions and atmosphere the big winners as Ducks down Kings outdoors

But there were few complaints from ice level.

“It was better than the ice in some NHL arenas,” said Ducks’ defenceman Francois Beauchemin. “It wasn’t an issue out there.”

Teemu Selanne, a veteran of five Olympic Games and a Stanley Cup championship in 2007, said he ranked the event “high on his bucket list” of career achievements.


Kevin Allen: Ducks beat Kings, Southern California style

Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne gushed about how much fun he had playing the game, and joked that the NHL should build “80,000-people stadiums so we don’t have to play 82 games.”

“We could just play 20 games,” Selanne joked, laughing. “Same money.”


Karen Crouse: Ducks Triumph at Dodger Stadium as Volleyballs and Frisbees Fly

For the Ducks, maybe. In the 10th minute, Anze Kopitar was awarded a penalty shot but he was stopped by Hiller. When Kopitar failed to score, the air went out of the lungs of the Kings fans. Anyone who follows the team knows well its recent struggles to put the puck in the net. In their last five games, all losses, the Kings have been outscored, 16-8. They haven’t scored since Kopitar’s goal in the fourth minute of their game Thursday against the Ducks in Anaheim.

The puck at times bounced off players’ sticks like a bad grounder off a shortstop’s glove. The ice, while slushier than usual, was not terrible. Ben Lovejoy, the Ducks defenseman responsible for hooking Kopitar to set up the penalty shot, had described the ice as “good enough” after practicing on it Friday.


Mark Spector: Ducks top Kings in Stadium Series classic

Indeed, the pertinent hockey is here in California, and being played to a far higher standard than anything our Canadian teams are producing at the National Hockey League level. Anaheim’s 3-0 win gave the Ducks an incredible 83 points before Robbie Burns Day had passed. They are 19 points clear of the Kings, seven up on the defending champs from Chicago, and have clearly staked their claim as the NHL’s premier combination of size, speed and skill; locked and loaded for a Stanley Cup run.


cjr1014: Ducks Shutout Kings in Stadium Series Game

Luckily for the Ducks, it appeared that the Kings’ power play wasn’t changed by the ice conditions. (aka: it was bad) The Ducks killed the penalty easily. This was a completely different Hiller than the Tuesday game against Winnipeg. He was tracking the puck well and making the reads to get into position to make saves.


John Carroll: Stadium Series Recap: Kings lose to Ducks again, THIS TIME OUTDOORS!

This is a tough game to judge, because obviously it was heavily score effected, as the Ducks scored two quick goals and the Kings were never able to answer. For the “too many defensive breakdowns!” crowd (hi, Jim Fox!), neither goal stood out as a particularly bad breakdown by the Kings, either; the first goal was a weird play off a face-off, and who knows if the ice contributed to Willie Mitchell being off-balance and having to turn the puck right over to Getzlaf (players seemed to have more trouble than usual staying on their skates throughout, with Jeff Carter memorably just falling the hell down for no reason at one point).


Gann Matsuda: NHL Hits Grand Slam Home Run At Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium

Thousands upon thousands just shook their heads, muttering something about there being no real hockey fans in Southern California, and that Dodger Stadium would be mostly empty.

As evidenced by the sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium on January 25 for Stadium Series: Los Angeles, the naysayers were wrong.

Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.