Production and checking addressed, a new opportunity for Pearson - LA Kings Insider

Trevor Lewis is expected skate to the right of Anze Kopitar in five-on-five action for today’s game against Florida Panthers, and that’s not really news because Lewis fills needs up and down the lineup, at left wing, center and right wing, on all four lines, as needed. His versatility, checking and compete regardless of his slotting is a constant.

Tanner Pearson, though, will get a look only two games after Darryl Sutter indicated that there was a chance he’d be a healthy scratch.

“He was a game-time decision in St. Louis, and hopefully that woke him up,” Sutter said after Friday’s practice. According to both Sutter and Pearson, the checking aspect of Pearson’s game needed to be raised.

Responding well to Sutter’s stimuli, Pearson provided an important insurance goal in a gritty win over the Blues as part of a two-point night that set up his opportunity today against Florida. In 13 games, the 23-year-old winger has two goals and five points.

“Yeah, I think that message was clear, especially after what happened in Chicago,” he said, referencing a missed clearing attempt that led to the Blackhawks’ game-winning goal. “You kind of have to look at that and buckle down, so right now I’m just taking it one step at a time and get in there, get in there, and hopefully once the checking comes into play it’s going to start happening.”

The checking aspect will be reinforced when skating alongside Kopitar as he’ll often face the opposition’s top players, and that means lining up at times against a right wing who’s among the strongest players on the puck in the modern history of the game in Jaromir Jagr.

“I think especially over the past two games I think I’ve found my game,” Pearson said. “Checking, I think that’s where my game comes from, getting in there and then being hard and quick and stuff will come from there. I think that’s the starting point. I’ve just got to start there every game and things will come.”

With Pearson and Lewis lining up alongside Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown, who have combined for one goal on the season, were moved alongside center Nick Shore. Jeff Carter’s line and Andy Andreoff’s line are expected to remain intact against Florida.

“That can change in the first five minutes for the whole game. You just never know,” Pearson said. “You’ve just got to come prepared and play your game and talk to your linemates how you start the game and go from there.”

Tanner Pearson, on whether anything got away from the team against Columbus:
I think the shots over two periods, I didn’t know they only had eight or nine. … I think we were climbing back the whole game, being down 2-1 coming out of the first. I think that’s what our focus is, trying to win the first and go from there. To be down 2-1 and trying to climb back the whole game, we just couldn’t capitalize and they got a third one. We were able to get that second one, but it was too late.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

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


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

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

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


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

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


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.