Waking up with the Kings: November 18 - LA Kings Insider

Before any review of last night’s game, it’s important to credit the Philadelphia Flyers for a very good home performance despite an array of injuries that left the club short on skill and scoring beyond Claude Giroux’s line. For two periods the Kings struggled to get their road legs going against a Flyers team that had been able to raise its game against the league’s better teams this season, but ultimately, through a standout third period in which they fell behind despite pushing the run of play, Los Angeles relied on a last-minute Milan Lucic net-crashing six-on-five goal, followed by the breathtaking novelty of three-on-three overtime and the first shootout of the season. In those final sequences, Jonathan Quick stopped all eight shots he faced through the extra sessions – eight high, high grade opportunities – and the Kings pushed their road record to 5-1-0 on the season. As Anze Kopitar said in our post-game interview, “it wasn’t the prettiest win, but there are no pictures in the standings.”

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But oh, that overtime. I was going to write a blow-by-blow account of the entire five minutes, but why do that when you can just watch it yourself? The key play, other than Steve Mason’s save on Marian Gaborik’s forehand-backhand attempt and Jonathan Quick’s poke check to deny Claude Giroux on a breakaway, was Alec Martinez sprinting on the backcheck to take away a Michael Del Zotto breakaway despite encountering some Matt Read interference in the neutral zone. To be fair, a penalty would never be called in that situation, and Read’s attempt to put a zigzag into Martinez’s beeline sprint was a smart play rather than any infraction, and Read probably could’ve disrupted the trajectory to a greater degree. Martinez, who led the game with three blocked shots, also stepped in front of a high-grade Brayden Schenn third period opportunity from the left circle. But do yourself a favor and re-watch that overtime not only to relive a thrilling five minutes of (novelty) three-on-three, but also to hear Bob Miller and Jim Fox’s pristine call of the end-to-end action. Miller was beautifully on top of every play, and despite the constant chances at both ends, Fox picked the perfect spots to step in with concise, illuminating commentary.

Los Angeles Kings v Philadelphia Flyers

Tanner Pearson is raising his game and after a slow start attributable to the modified summer that followed a season-ending injury, now ranks fifth on the team with 11 points in 18 games. “You know how it is, you train throughout the summer and then you come back, and you’re not really in hockey shape, you’re haven’t been taking hits and that kind of thing,” Pearson said to reporters yesterday. “Even in exhibition games, it’s not the same pace as regular season, so you get into it, and then you have to up your game even more when the regular season starts.” Those sentiments were underscored by the fact that he hadn’t played hockey or taken hits since mid-January, and it’s understandable that if there were to be players to get off to inconclusive starts over the first 10 games, he’d probably be one of them. He now has eight points in the last seven games, and the partnership with Anze Kopitar on the top line has provided one of the effective “twos” that Darryl Sutter uses to fill out his forward group, and it appears his north-south hustle and forechecking game is well-suited for the Kings’ star center. Marian Gaborik’s play has also risen since the trio was aligned together, so this could pay dividends for the Kings by taking scoring pressure off the Jeff Carter line if they’re able to remain together for any sort of term.

Los Angeles Kings v Philadelphia Flyers

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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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