Waking up with the Kings: March 27 - LA Kings Insider

It was a fitting inverse to the end of the road trip: Instead of stringing together strong performances and losing, the Kings picked up two points in a game in which they weren’t at their best by virtue of a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Even if it’s not always whether you win or lose – it’s whether you’re winning or losing – the team rallied for an important win on a night in which the Anaheim Ducks erased a three-goal deficit to win as the top-heavy Pacific Division race remained tight. The Kings scored six times in using a combination of their opponent’s depleted defensive corps and shaky goaltending to break through offensively; on the defensive end, there were more individual mistakes than would normally be associated with a team known for its airtight systems adherence and top checking from all the players on the roster.

Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings

After a loosey-goosey first period that resembled a game from October 26, and not March 26, Los Angeles emerged with a terrific response in the second period, the basis of which was their superior play along the boards. The Jeff Carter line was obviously the game’s most dominant, and through the play of his line, as well as Anze Kopitar’s line, Los Angeles generated multiple situations in which they were able to rotate players into a line change while maintaining possession of the puck through cycles deep in the offensive zone. Andy Andreoff had some good jump for much of the night, and it was fitting that he was able to dig a loose puck free and beat Laurent Brossoit during a portion of a shift in which he was on the ice with Carter and Tyler Toffoli. But the three-goal second period was instrumental in advancing from the discombobulated stink of the first 20 minutes as the Kings built up a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, never mind the terrific offensive zone presence brought about by Connor McDavid and Pat Maroon in the third period.

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So, this Lucic-Carter-Toffoli line. Carter posted outstanding possession rates with his two most frequent linemates last night, dominating in shot attempts when on the ice with both Toffoli (24 CF / 8 CA) and Milan Lucic (20 CF / 8 CA). You’re aware of this; the trio combined for 10 points. If the end of the season can be used to get players’ games in order and gauge alignments that could be used in the playoffs, a statement appeared to be made by the chemistry generated by that trio on Saturday. That may stack a little bit too much offense away from Kopitar, though the Kings’ top center was perfectly acceptable playing alongside Tanner Pearson (15 CF / 10 CA) and Dustin Brown (16 CF / 7 CA). With Pearson’s game having come around since the All-Star break, that’s not a bad option to Kopitar’s left, and should the team get Marian Gaborik back at the start of the playoffs, there’s another fine option to his right. Kris Versteeg, who has also resumed skating, is another player who, in a small sample size, has looked comfortable alongside Kopitar. The team isn’t necessarily a burner offensively, though it has been able to generate offense better than other recent L.A. teams. It was quite good in five-on-five play on Saturday, and there are some intriguing offensive depth options at Darryl Sutter’s disposal – should the team get several of its currently shelved players back.

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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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