Several abbreviated notes from Los Angeles’ 4-3 shootout loss to Anaheim:

It is spring once again, and after a fall and winter journey through each of the 30 National Hockey League arenas, the Los Angeles Kings have returned to the surroundings that for much of 44 years appeared to be a gift or a reward, but over the past two have certainly evolved into an expectation. 82 games have been inscribed in The Book. The Kings won 46 of those games. During this Sunday recovery day, reflect on the circumstances that led to the 46 wins. When the team returns to Toyota Sports Center for meetings and workouts on Monday, the win counter will be reset to zero.

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Los Angeles played Anaheim one final time on Saturday night to conclude an annual set that was among the more lopsided tallies in the teams’ histories. The Kings lost four of five games to the Ducks (1-3-1), winning once in a nine-round shootout. This places the 2013-14 Freeway Faceoff amongst the 1998-99 (1-5-0), 2001-02 (4-0-1), 2003-04 (4-1-1) and 2011-12 (5-1-0) installments of Southern California’s NHL rivalry.

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Saturday’s game gradually developed an intensity that isn’t usually seen in a final-weekend game between two teams already playoff-bound. The Kings and Sharks played a hands-off exhibition in Game #48 a season ago, one that actually contained playoff seeding implications. Last night’s game took time to develop, but by the opening of the third period, when Anze Kopitar scored the first of his two impressive goals, and through the overtime session, when Jonathan Quick made a succession of quality saves in denying all six of the Ducks’ shots on goal, the theatre had been raised beyond what would be expected with the home team playing for little more than pride and seasonal footnotes.

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Though Kopitar had previously recorded four seasons in which he amassed 70 points, his 2013-14 campaign was the most complete of his eight-season NHL career. Rebounding honorably from his three-goal performance in 18 games of last spring’s playoff campaign, Kopitar finished one-goal away from hitting the 30-goal barrier for the third time in his career. As anyone who has watched Kopitar or heard this topic addressed ad nauseum on LA Kings Insider and other blogs, the goal scoring only represents a small portion of Kopitar’s value to the team. He’s versatile, he’s arguably the best two-way elite center in hockey and is exceptionally durable. Of the seven 82-game seasons he has played in the NHL, in five of them he played every game. He is a high reward, low maintenance player, and his late third period toe-drag around Ryan Getzlaf before beating Frederik Andersen stick-side to tie the game late in the third period was spectacular.

Noah Graham / 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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