Throughout much of their second round series against the Ducks, several players on the Kings had mentioned that they were yet to play their best game of the series, and that there was still ample room for improvement in their overall game. The tense, 2-1 Game 6 win on Wednesday night represented a significant step forward from their five previous performances in the series as Los Angeles minimized mistakes and turnovers, kept Anaheim’s best players in check, received a superb goaltending performance from Jonathan Quick and established an early lead that they widened to two goals midway through the second period. Along with Game 3, Game 5 and Game 7 against San Jose, last night’s narrow victory was among the team’s top performances through this meandering playoff schedule that will see the Kings play the maximum 14 games through the first two rounds. Remember when they once played 20 games total and won a Stanley Cup?

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Wednesday’s win was a game in which Darryl Sutter was able to rely on quality performances from all 20 players on the lineup card. Only 2:43 separated the team’s most used center (Anze Kopitar / 17:38) from its most lightly used center (Jeff Carter / 14:55). It’s generally a good indication that all four lines are contributing when the lowest ice time accumulated among forwards is 9:30, and those nine and a half minutes were logged by Kyle Clifford, who was excellent on the forecheck and in helping set the tone during a very good first period in which a lesser team than the Ducks would have ceded more than one goal. Matt Greene logged only 12:09, though it was the best 12:09 of playoff hockey he had logged since 2012. Jake Muzzin contributed with one of his best performances as a King, scoring the game’s first goal as part of his third 25-minute performance of the series. His shorthanded ice time of 4:08 contributed heavily to the team’s perfect penalty kill and Jonathan Quick stopping all six power play shots he faced.

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Devante Smith-Pelly, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were on the ice for Trevor Lewis’ goal and were held off the scoresheet at a critical juncture; for Getzlaf, it was the first time in the series that he was unable to chip in with a point. Several factors contributed to Los Angeles clamping down on Anaheim’s top line. First, the Kings minimized their mistakes. Their zone exits were as clean as they had been in any point this season and there were fewer neutral zone turnovers – though one did contribute to Kyle Palmieri’s goal. The penalty kill also produced its first perfect performance since Game 1; three of Getzlaf’s seven points and two of Perry’s three points in the series had been earned while on the power play. Los Angeles also played a sound possession game, and other than a flurry in the first period (that was followed, against the run of play, by Muzzin’s goal) and Anaheim’s push in the final five minutes, the Kings effectively possessed the puck and enjoyed a greater degree of offensive zone time. “Defending” isn’t necessarily a good thing; more importantly, the Ducks can’t score if the puck isn’t on the stick of their top players.

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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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