LA Kings: Three takeaways from Thursday’s win over the Avalanche

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Adrian Kempe
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

After being moved up to the top line, Adrian Kempe responded with the game-winning goal on Thursday.

Takeaway #3: Adrian Kempe responds to promotion

Adrian Kempe was given a big opportunity on Thursday, getting promoted to the Kings’ top line with Kopitar and Alex Iafallo. He took advantage and played a strong game, leading the team with five shots on goal and finishing off a beautiful pass from Kopitar for the game-winning goal late in the third period.

This is a very important season for Kempe if he wants to convince the Kings he should be part of their core moving forward. LA’s first-round pick in 2014, Kempe has the tools to be an impact player but has been plagued by inconsistency over his first few years in the league.

The Kings need to figure out what they have in Kempe. They should be giving him every opportunity to show what he can do this year, which is why the promotion to Kopitar’s line made sense.

His coach had praise for him after Thursday’s performance.

While the Kings’ top line of Kopitar, Iafallo and Dustin Brown has stayed together for most of the last few seasons, don’t be shocked if we see a lot more of Kempe with Kopitar moving forward.