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

The Kings scored big goals that allowed them to play with the lead for much of the night in a physical, tight affair that resulted in a 3-2 road win against their regional rivals to the south Sunday evening at Honda Center. There was some holding on for dear life at the end of the game, but the Ducks, the defending Pacific Division champions and a third round playoff team a year ago, will wage a steady attack when trailing, and eight of the last 10 games between the teams have been decided by one goal. Los Angeles struggled to protect leads in that building a year ago, having ceded nine third period goals to Anaheim in three road games, and while the home team nearly potted a pair of third period pucks to tie the game, it was clear that Andrew Cogliano’s would-be equalizer was propelled into the net with a distinct kicking motion that was difficult to detect in real time but required only one replay to illustrate that it was a clear kick, and not even a not-enough-evidence-to-overturn call. It was not a good goal; there was no controversy.

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks

Anze Kopitar’s line was excellent and was the clear victor in the frequent match-ups against Ryan Kesler’s line. That was not always the case last year, when Kesler was probably the most impactful player in the season series. Kopitar had a goal and an assist in a plus-two effort, was the only Kings forward to record multiple shot blocks, and took 30 faceoffs in a quality performance on the second night of the back-to-back set. While Milan Lucic hasn’t been scoring regularly – he hasn’t yet scored in the current calendar year – he has assists in four straight games as Tyler Toffoli has served as that line’s most frequent finisher. It was only a matter of time before he began to generate chemistry with Kopitar, and while there is still room for improvement, that line has been strong thus far in the new year.

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks

If we’re going to acknowledge a few individual performances from last night’s game, credit Brayden McNabb, who issued a devastating and legal shoulder-to-shoulder check on Sami Vatanen that left the skilled Finnish defenseman in a heap on the ice. He made a nice shoulder shimmy on David Perron to create an opening and wristed a puck towards the net that Anze Kopitar deflected through the narrowest of spaces for the team’s game-winning goal. Alec Martinez weathered several big hits in a gritty 23 minutes of action in which he blocked a game-high four shots. Vincent Lecavalier scored for the second consecutive game and took 19 faceoffs over 15:31 of ice time. His four shots on goal led the club. A day after an off performance, Jonathan Quick again showed that with his constitution, it’s more or less a given that he’ll follow up a loss with a strong performance. He has lost consecutive starts twice this season: The first three games of the year, and starts on November 2 (at Chicago) and 5 (versus Columbus). With Jhonas Enroth having played for Dallas last season and the Kings in a six-games-in-nine-nights stretch, it will be interesting to see if Darryl Sutter gives him a night off against a top Western Conference team tomorrow evening.

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks

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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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