An interesting stretch of hockey continues for the Los Angeles Kings, who may not face the same frequency of playoff-destined teams that the schedule threw at them in January, but will still be facing a heavy assortment of bubble teams whose seasons will be on the line when they face off against L.A. as the regular season’s final stretch approaches.

The last two games pitted the Kings against teams with plenty to play for. Los Angeles suffered back-to-back losses against Toronto, a team fighting both for home ice advantage and to simply participate in the postseason, and Anaheim, a team in a neck-and-neck battle with San Jose for the Pacific Division.

Visiting tonight will be Phoenix; the Coyotes are tied with Dallas for the West’s last wild card, though the Stars have a game in hand. Washington, a team two points out of the final wild card in the Eastern Conference, visits Thursday. After a home game against Florida – a non-playoff team – on Saturday, the Kings will venture to the east coast for the final time in the regular season to face Philadelphia, a team battling for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs while trying to fend off Columbus and the New York Rangers, who currently sit one point behind. Los Angeles also travels to Washington and first place Pittsburgh on the upcoming trip before returning home to face three more bubble teams in Winnipeg, Minnesota (more firmly in the playoffs than on the cusp) and Phoenix once again. The Kings are 17-10-1 against teams currently remaining on their schedule.

This stretch of games against teams battling for their playoff lives should be good preparation for a team looking to build up its own game, even if it appears to be slotted fairly comfortably in the Pacific Division’s third seed, right?

“It’s good for us because we should be just as desperate as them,” center Mike Richards said. “It’s the time of the season when you play desperate teams not only just to get into the playoffs, but teams that are looking for position too. So, it’s a fun time to play hockey. It’s exciting. It’s really intense just because of what we just talked about, but we have play as desperate as other teams if we’re going to have success.”

Richards, on the team averaging 38.6 shots on goal per game over the last five games:
It’s good to get shots. It means that you have the puck. It’s just that we have to find the second pucks in the slot and try to get more quality chances, I guess. And when we do have the chances, bear down. We’re missing right now where the goalie is making a save and keep at it and hopefully it will go in.

Richards, on whether this morning’s earthquake was the first he ever felt:
It was. 6:30, yeah, I went right back to sleep. It wasn’t too startling.

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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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