Waking up with the Kings: February 10 - LA Kings Insider

So, that’s a very complex point the LA Kings earned in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in one of the more entertaining and momentum-driven games of the year. You’re aware of the circumstances, but to repeat: the Kings were even after a first period in which they were outplayed, used an excellent second period to take a 2-1 lead into the third, allowed three goals, including a shorthanded marker by Brad Marchand, over a three and a half minute span to fall behind 4-2 only to will themselves back into the game with Nate Thompson and Oscar Fantenberg tallies. From there, an Ilya Kovalchuk overtime tripping minor teed up the Bruins’ second-ranked power play, and you can imagine where it goes from here. (He fixes the cable?) Generally, those single points are qualifiers. If a team is on a run, it extends a point streak. If they’re on a skid, it extends the losing streak. And then there are the Kings, who need points (but also don’t really need points, because their playoff chances were below five percent, and do need to add the type of skill that a high draft pick can provide) and eked one out on the road against a playoff team. So! That’s pretty complex. The value of that single point is in the eye of the LAKI Commenter.

Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

More acutely, the fourth line broke a cardinal rule – don’t get scored on – when Kyle Clifford, Michael Amadio and Austin Wagner, along with Drew Doughty and Derek Forbort were victimized by the Patrice Bergeron line and an activating Charlie McAvoy. Boston’s heavy cycle game and switch-offs are difficult for any team to contain, and the Amadio line got beaten by some world class players early in the second. That line’s performance might not have as favorably matched the standout efforts produced earlier on the road trip, so if you’re looking for an opening for a healthy Trevor Lewis to get back into the lineup, it’s probably there. The Adrian Kempe line continued to play in the offensive zone over a collection of quality minutes, and Kempe nearly ended the game on a high-speed overtime breakaway. It’s interesting that Kempe’s best hockey has taken place while Jeff Carter has been injured and he’s faced tougher competition, especially on the road; he was fine against the Sean Kuraly line on Saturday but struggled when the David Krejci line was matched against him. The team was a touch unfortunate that it was outscored 2-1 in special teams, because their first power play was a major momentum boost that provided second period momentum, and they killed both of the Bruins’ 5×4 power plays without allowing any consistent sniffs at the net. Los Angeles took nine shots to Boston’s three during power play time, but it’s not exactly easy to kill a four-on-three when the three opposing forwards are David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.

Steve Babineau/NHLI

Something that’s becoming clearer – and shouldn’t take until Game 55 to reference as a positive – is that their battle and will have been raised to the point where we’re no longer really referencing terms like “emotional investment” in these columns. They don’t have the same horses they used to earlier this decade, but their resilience has been a positive on a trip in which they have points in three games in which they allowed the first goal, a notion underscored by injuries and personnel challenges. On the flip side, they held leads in the two games they lost, adding to the complexity of a solid 3-1-1 trip thus far. But it did take quite some time for this team to rekindle its familiar resilience that was a load-bearing pillar of their success both this decade and as recently as last season, when they won 24 games in which they allowed the first goal. Where had this been earlier this year? That’s like Mystery Valley for me.

Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

–Lead photo via Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

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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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