Waking up with the Kings: March 29 - LA Kings Insider

In a fun, 77-shot game overflowing with storylines and played by two teams with better juice than their records or recent performances might suggest, it was Tanner Pearson that scored the game’s only shootout goal, releasing a familiar hard, accurate snapshot that a very sharp Jonathan Quick got most but not all of. Brown played his franchise-record 1,112th game, Jonathan Quick played his 600th and Anze Kopitar played his 998th, and on the other side, Alex Edler potted his 94th career goal to surpass Mattias Ohlund as Vancouver’s all-time leading defensive goal scorer. And then there was Quinn Hughes, who was cheered in warm-ups, saluted with a standing ovation for his first shift, and repaid the recognition with a shifty assist to shake off Trevor Lewis and create his own short-side chance that was finished off by a diving Brock Boeser. An overtime shift by Hughes, Boeser and Elias Petterssen generated one of the two Grade-A chances fought off by Jonathan Quick and provided a glimpse of the solid foundation with which they’ll have to build in Vancouver – and what should lead to some long-waited raised expectations in the Pacific Northwest next year. By the time rival Seattle enters the league, there’s a decent chance this could be a good team. There was a really good buzz in the arena for a late-March game between two teams bound for the draft lottery.

Jeff Vinnick/NHLI

Ilya Kovalchuk has sat the last five games, two of which have gone to a shootout. Los Angeles won the Anaheim game but is 1-for-7 in individual chances over the past week, and Kovalchuk is 4-for-5 on the season and one of the game’s premier weapons in the extra session. Moving on. Kurtis MacDermid appears to have strung together several strong performances in a row, and though he’s not going to push the minutes needle too far, his 12:26 was the most he’d recorded since his first game after the recall. He leveled Troy Stecher along the boards and also showed a good stick in removing Bo Horvat from the puck on a one-on-one in the Los Angeles zone. There were more effective minutes as well from Grundstrom – another 18 and a half of them – who had four hits and three shots on goal, which doesn’t account for his power play deflection of a Doughty shot that trickled wide by inches. Austin Wagner, who set a goal of 20 points, has 19 of them in 57 games and continued to hammer home his emergence as one of the more unsung and unexpected performers on this year’s team.

Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire

But the night still belonged to Brown, a figure among those as responsible as Dean Lombardi and all others for changing the culture within an organization whose greatest success overlapped with his tenure as captain and team leader. Wayne Gretzky was the greatest player to wear the jersey and the most responsible for spreading the gospel of the game throughout the region and other warmer-weather markets. But Brown is the true face of the LA Kings, the forever honest and accountable blue-collar leader of one of Los Angeles’ most blue-collar teams, and though Thursday’s game didn’t have the same storybook ending as his 1,000th game, when he scored his fourth goal of the night in overtime, he played 25 of 65 up-tempo minutes with his same trademark intensity and was properly honored in well executed, multi-layered storytelling by those inside and outside the organization. Inside the dressing room, he had an opportunity to privately address the team, and it was fitting that when he took the ice, he did so with Alec Martinez, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Kopitar and Quick, all two-time Cup winners, intricately connected members of the leadership core and friends. That quiet resolve and steeliness with which the team played during its greatest and most composed minutes shares its DNA with Brown.

Jeff Vinnick/NHLI

–Lead photo via Jeff Vinnick/NHLI

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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.