Though Jake Muzzin scored the game-tying goal and Robyn Regehr dramatically ended the game in overtime, it was Jonathan Quick that carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the team’s final game before the Olympic break. After allowing an ugly early power play goal to Jack Johnson, an outstanding Quick was perfect the rest of the way and denied Columbus on a collection of Grade-A and Grade-B opportunities, the glut of which came during a lopsided first period that may represented among the poorest 20 minutes of hockey that the team played all season. Out-shot 10-2 and taking two too many men on the ice penalties – one of which ended a late power play – to be able to look up at the scoreboard while retreating to the dressing room and see that only one goal separated the two teams was a development that played in the Kings’ favor. Quick stopped all 23 shots after Johnson’s goal as the Kings put together a sturdier effort over the final 43 minutes over one of the Eastern Conference’s hottest teams.

Noah Graham / National Hockey League

About those starts. What has crept into Los Angeles’ game early after such suffocating opens earlier in the season? When the team won 5-2 in Ottawa on December 14, it marked the 18th consecutive game in which they did not surrender a first period goal. Over this recent four-game home stand, the Kings allowed goals within the first 1:40 in three separate games and took minor penalties within the first three minutes of three of the games as well. Over the first 33 games of the season, Los Angeles allowed 12 first period goals. Over the 27 games since, the Kings have allowed 24 first period goals.

181113919NG018_Jackets_Kings.JPG

For a team that has a high skill level but isn’t generally associated with being among the fastest teams in the National Hockey League, the Kings certainly appear to be comfortable in four-on-four opportunities. L.A. improved to 4-2 in overtime this season, and in many of the games that were decided in overtime or eventually headed to a shootout, the Kings were the dominant possession team in the extra five minutes. Such was the case on Thursday night as Los Angeles took two shots in overtime and scored on one of them. The Kings have now outshot their opponents 36-20 in overtimes this season and have been the far superior team in late four-on-four play. Really, all four-on-four play has benefited the Kings, who scored twice in such situations against Columbus and have now outscored their opponents 7-2 in four-on-four hockey in 2013-14. This quick Blue Jackets team that features a mobile defense, interestingly, has not benefited from the open ice, having been outscored 8-3 in four-on-four play.

There are likely to be roster moves involving the Kings and Monarchs today, so stay tuned to LA Kings Insider (and LAKI Twitter) for updates, though bear with any delays in reporting while I travel to Manchester. The changeover to Manchester Monarchs Insider should take place later in the afternoon. There’s a lot of content to come on this Friday.

181113919NG027_Jackets_Kings.JPG

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
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.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS