Waking up with the Kings: February 28 - LA Kings Insider

After the Sabres had their chances early and controlled play through the first eight to 10 minutes of the game, the Kings gave up very, very little in their 2-0 win at Staples Center. By the middle of the second period – a very strong second period by Los Angeles, it should be added – Buffalo wasn’t sustaining any semblance of an attack and was getting few looks from down low in the offensive zone. After the first period, the visitors’ best chance came during the 30 seconds of chance-trading at both ends, when both Robin Lehner and Jhonas Enroth were called upon to make a flurry of saves in an up-tempo sequence. The Sabres have had trouble scoring all season, and against a Kings team that’s now 4-0-1 in their last five games despite scoring a grand total of nine goals over that stretch, Saturday night’s game didn’t present the clearest opportunity for the visitors to strengthen their offensive credentials.

Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings

Part of the success Los Angeles had in keeping Buffalo off the scoreboard came from an airtight penalty kill. I just spoke with Darryl Sutter, who liked that the team didn’t take many penalties to begin with – the Dwight King hook on Jack Eichel was also probably a bogus call – but I’m willing to believe that last night the team had the most full length clears per 60 minutes out of any game to this point in the season. The Sabres were hardly able to set up in the offensive zone, and that’s because the Kings were efficient on the faceoff dot, winning four of six draws while shorthanded, and suppressing high-quality opportunities. Via War-on-Ice, Buffalo logged one total scoring chance in six minutes of power play time.

Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings

Rob Scuderi was efficient in his return to the Kings. While people should be wary of a 37-year-old Scuderi getting 19 minutes regularly, hey, let’s face it, he never really had a step to lose in the first place. He’s built an impressive career through his positioning and intelligence, and those aren’t aspects that deteriorate like other more skill-based attributes. There was clearly an unholy marriage between the veteran defenseman and the up-tempo Blackhawks, who have found success without the puck when their quick forwards close a gap with their defensemen on the backcheck, and the defensemen are content chipping the puck off the glass and out of the zone when pressured. Despite his limitations, Los Angeles is still a more comfortable fit for both sides. Scuderi still has a very good stick; tonight, though, will present a stark challenge as he faces a Ducks team capable of making heavy hits below the goal line and forechecking opposing defensemen into key turnovers deep in their defending zone. If he’s in a 14-minute range, he should ably fill a depth role on the blue line; if he’s seeing 19 minutes more regularly, there’s an uncomfortable potential for high-risk situations against the Western Conference’s elite teams.

Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.
VIEW ADRIAN KEMPE POSTS

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.
VIEW ALEX IAFALLO POSTS

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS