The Los Angeles Kings were due for a win in both the cadence of the 2013-14 season and the away portion of the head-to-head series with San Jose. I tend to agree with Darryl Sutter’s assessment last night that “It’s the way we’ve been playing. You just don’t get the results all the time,” and that the team hadn’t been touched with the hand of luck over the recent losing streak. In regards to the four posts the Kings hit on Monday, there certainly is more room for luck and fortunate bounces to fall in the Kings’ favor. As for winning at the SAP Center, the Kings were long overdue. Including playoff games, the Kings have played nine straight one-goal games at the Shark Tank, with five of those games tied after 60 minutes. Excluding shootout goals, the Kings have only been outscored 18-14 over that span. The rift in the head to head matchup is much wider at Staples Center, where Los Angeles has outscored San Jose 32-17 over the last nine games. Does this bode well for the Kings, should they face the Sharks on the road at some point in the playoffs? Perhaps. This is an L.A. team with plenty of players remaining that have won the Stanley Cup; it’s not as if they’ve all of a sudden forgotten how to win in tough buildings. The Kings have been playing tight, low-scoring games on the road in the rivalry and were long overdue for a win.

Don Smith / National Hockey League

There was quality goaltending in both corners on Monday night, with both Jonathan Quick and Alex Stalock making important saves early that preserved the trajectory of the game. If Quick doesn’t lunge to deny Bracken Kearns – who was excellent – with a wide open glove, San Jose has an early goal and a momentum surge. Stalock’s early key save was when he denied Anze Kopitar’s wristshot from the slot after the Kings center shouldered Matt Nieto off the puck, one of several fine Los Angeles chances during a suffocating first period in which they limited San Jose to four shots on goal. Other than Kearns’ quality opportunity early, there weren’t many Grade-A type opportunities the Sharks – who possess the league’s sixth-best offense – were able to generate through the first 40 minutes of the game.

Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll and the forwards’ 200-foot adherence are deserving of credit for the stifling defensive performance, though the six-man defensive corps is equally deserving of credit after a mistake-free evening in a building that is generally unkind to visitors and in which shot totals have a tendency to hit double digits midway through the first period. Between the 11-block performance by the consortium of Matt Greene, Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr, and the standout decision making and poise by the more mobile portion of the Kings’ blue line, San Jose’s top offensive players were well contained during a tight defensive battle in which quality chances and puck possession favored Los Angeles.

Don Smith / 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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