The LA Kings swept the two-game series against the Coyotes, marking their fourth consecutive win and points in their last five.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan‘s injury in Saturday’s game added another wrench to the LA Kings season. Head coach Todd McLellan indicated the 21-year-old would miss Sunday’s finale against the Coyotes and potentially the rest of the road trip. As such, Blake Lizotte moved into JAD’s role at the 3C, and Michael Amadio played in his first game since the Sharks’ shootout loss.
LA Kings Three Stars
Alex Iafallo – two goals, including the empty-netter to seal the two-game sweep
Anze Kopitar – two more assists for the LA Kings captain, and his 21 points on the season are ninth-best in the NHL
Drew Doughty – two assists for Doughty in this one and is tied for third-most points (15) among NHL defensemen.
Doughty on what it means to him having an improved season after the last two
Yeah, it’s been. It’s been a tough one. No doubt about it, both personally and as a team, has been really tough. You know, we’re still going through a little bit of struggles right now. But it’s looking a lot better. And we’re our teams looking a lot better this season is going to continue to, but no, it means a lot. I haven’t been up there in a long, long time. A lot of people have counted me out. And, you know, I want to get back up in that conversation. So to me, it means a lot, but that’s it’s all credit to my teammates in the coaching staff and everyone around me. It’s not just me, I am playing well, but it’s everyone around me.
McLellan on the importance of getting goals on both special teams
Well, it was huge, obviously because we gave up two on the powerplay. At the end of the day, all of those special teams goals cancel each other out. It was the five-on-five goal that made the difference. But you know the powerplay did a good enough job tonight to score a goal. It was off a rush or an entry, which we haven’t had many like that. The penalty kill. I thought we overworked ourselves again with a couple [of] penalties we didn’t need to take, but we did take them. And you know, even the last one, we got a young man with the puck on his tape, and it didn’t go his way. He waited a little too long to make a play. But that’s all part of learning, and but the fact that we’re able to score one power play and one shorty obviously makes a huge difference for our group.
McLellan on Drew Doughty’s season thus far
Well, we, you know, 30, 31, 32 minutes a night, we appreciate Drew’s abilities. He’s really had an outstanding season in my mind so far – both offensively, defensively, leadership-wise. Everything about his game right now is in a really good spot. Not only has he been able to take care of himself on the ice, but he’s been able to manage playing with a young defenseman for a lot of the season right now. And he’s making him a better player.
McLellan on whether the Coyotes series sets them up well for the upcoming series against the Blues
I haven’t even thought that far ahead, but it’s a good point that you make. Our pre-scouts for these games against Arizona were obviously against St. Louis. They played seven in a row. And those were close, tight-checking games. Both teams played well in them. If anything, that helps us because we’ve watched them play. We’ve played two games against St. Louis already. They were hard, heavy games. They’re going to be that way again. You know, perhaps the answer to your question is yes, maybe it will help us.
LA Kings Schedule
As Todd McLellan alluded to, the LA Kings are off Sunday, with a two-game series in St. Louis beginning on Monday at 5 pm PT.