Waking up with the Kings: November 1 - LA Kings Insider

It’s funny; if you were to try to predict the outcome of a Kings-Predators game, you’d probably assume some sort of 2-1 game between a pair of teams that have traditionally been stingy defensively, rely on world-class goaltending and aren’t known for ceding much space on the ice to their opponents. Instead, if you’ve bet the over in this rivalry, you’ve probably made a little bit of money to spend on your next trip to Tootsie’s (or, if you’re in the know, Legend’s Corner). Jonathan Quick, who hasn’t experienced a great deal of success against the Predators in his career (remember Jonathan Bernier, Preds Killer?), lifted his career save percentage in the series to .886 while winning his third career game against Nashville, while Pekka Rinne, who hasn’t been particularly sharp at Staples Center, saw his save percentage drop to .890 in head-to-head match-ups. And this is all relatable to what Darryl Sutter has liked during this team’s winning streak: the Kings have won games in different ways. They’ve “sawed off” tough head-to-head match-ups on the road, they’ve relied on standout goaltending and special teams for much of the streak, and on Saturday, Los Angeles showed resilience in battling back from a deficit to start the third period and withstood a third period game-tying Predators goal to win their seventh straight game on a thrilling Drew Doughty-to-Jeff Carter sequence that included a blocked Mike Fisher three-on-one-all-or-nothing pass and a streaking Carter forcing a prone Rinne into making the first move.

at Staples Center on October 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

While Nashville scored a pair of power play goals, including one on a Shea Weber laser beam, Los Angeles was able to win this game in part because of a pivotal third period kill that included Trevor Lewis leaving the penalty box and making a power move past Seth Jones to force the puck out of the defensive zone to set up a rush that was finished off by a net-crashing Tyler Toffoli after a patient centering feed from the left wing. As Toffoli potted two goals on Saturday, he has now scored nine times on 26 shots – there’s unsustainable, and then there’s otherworldly unsustainable – and, like the team’s wins, continues to find the back of the net in a multitude of ways. His first goal, in which he slipped behind the defense to backhand a clever centering feed from Christian Ehrhoff while on the power play, was set up because of another impressive Doughty maneuver in which he intercepted a pass and fed Kyle Clifford while entering the offensive zone to draw a Roman Josi hooking call. Doughty, who took six shots on goal and recorded an assist and a plus-two rating in 29:10 of ice time, had his fingerprints all over this win. Jake Muzzin, who had a big hit on Jones at the right wing hash marks in the Kings zone in the third period, also continued his strong all-zones play and logged two assists, a plus-one rating, six shot attempts and three hits in 23:19 of ice time.

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Three-on-three overtime is fascinating – and looks exhausting. I was of the “it’s a goofy novelty” mindset before seeing it in practice (and given the preseason 4-on-3 power play time and very quick goals, the exhibition season overtime was an unsatisfying appetizer). After 10 seconds of three-on-three in the Minnesota game, my opinion changed 180 degrees. It’s essentially more satisfying than a shootout, and, as it was designed to do, largely prevents the individual skills competition. Winning faceoffs – something the Kings struggled at times with against the league’s 30th-ranked faceoff team – is key, as is maintaining possession, even if that means exiting the offensive zone with possession during high tension moments. And the importance of players hitting nets is heightened as hard ricochets off the end boards spring fast odd-man attacks in the opposite direction. Not to get too caught up in it, but it literally brings the fans out of their seats.

Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
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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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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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