Los Angeles Kings' 5 Most Impressive Individual Performances in 2013-14
The Kings have, as usual, been a low-scoring team that wins with strong team defense and excellent goaltending. That means the great single-game performances stand out even more, at least those that show up on the scoresheet.
Two examples are a shutout by a rookie and a hat trick from a highly unlikely source. Find out where these and other great achievements are ranked in the Kings' top five individual performances of the season.
Honorable Mention: Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty's impressive showing in a mid-October game against the Dallas Stars was a sign of things to come for the rest of the NHL season—not to mention the Olympics.
The 24-year-old blueliner tallied one goal—the game-winner—one assist, four shots and one hit.
He showed off his speed, strength and, perhaps most importantly, his vision and awareness. He had a big impact at both ends of the rink, racking up more than 22 minutes in ice time and playing in all situations.
5. Tyler Toffoli's Three-Point Game
Tyler Toffoli has played just 62 NHL games but has already shown the potential to be a first-line player in the future.
Perhaps his best showing came against the Vancouver Canucks in November. He and Mike Richards each registered three points to lead the Kings to a 5-1 victory. Toffoli played 17 minutes, 29 seconds, registering two goals, one assist, four shots and a plus-three rating.
He showed off his skill and creativity with the puck but also was aware of his position defensively and backchecked effectively.
Just 21 years old, Toffoli has a long career ahead of him and could be a key leader for the Kings for the next 10 years.
4. Anze Kopitar Leads the Kings to Victory
The Kings' most talented and consistent force, Anze Kopitar has had a number of great performances this season, including four three-point games.
One of those came on October 19, 2013 against the Dallas Stars. With the Kings trailing 1-0 in the first period, Kopitar helped set up Justin Williams on back-to-back goals. He added a third assist on Drew Doughty's game-winner in the third.
Kopitar was effective with and without the puck in all three zones but especially on the forecheck. He played more than 19 minutes, recording four shots, one hit and a plus-two rating, along with three assists.
3. Jonathan Quick Shuts out the Vancouver Canucks
The 27th shutout of Jonathan Quick's career came in a scrappy, entertaining game that the Kings held on to win 1-0.
After Dustin Brown broke the tie less than a minute into the third period, the pressure was on Quick. He stopped 11 shots in the third and 28 overall in what proved to be a dominant performance that Kings fans are accustomed to seeing.
As for the rough stuff, Quick had this to say after the game, according to Curtis Zupke of NHL.com: "It's usually like that when you play these guys. They're a tough team and we've developed a bit of a rivalry over the past few years after playing then in the playoffs a few times. So that's what you expect when they come in here and when we go out there."
While Quick went on to lose eight of his next 11 games in regulation, he's turned it around of late, winning nine of his past 11 games.
2. Dwight King's First Hat Trick
Entering the 2013-14 season, Dwight King had never had a multigoal game in his career, let alone a hat trick.
That changed on October 24, 2013 at the Staples Center. He scored two goals in the first period to help the Kings build a 4-0 over the Phoenix Coyotes before the break. Phoenix wasn't done, however, scoring four goals in a 13-minute span to tie the game early in the third.
A short-handed tally by Mike Richards broke the tie and stood as the game-winner, while King recorded the hat trick on an empty net goal with less than 30 seconds remaining. The Kings won 7-4, thanks in large part to King—who made the best of his offensive opportunities while also chipping in on defense.
The 24-year-old has gone cold of late, but overall he is having a good season by his standards, with 26 points and a plus-13 rating in 71 games.
1. Martin Jones' Debut
One of the most memorable moments of the Kings' season was the debut of goaltender Martin Jones on December 3, 2014.
The then 23-year-old got the call to start against the Ducks in Anaheim. He appeared poised and confident, using every inch of his 6'4" frame to his advantage. He allowed just two goals on 28 shots, one of which was a power-play marker.
After 65 minutes, the game remained tied at two. In the shootout, Jones continued to look more like a veteran than a rookie, matching Jonas Hiller with save after save. By the time King scored to end the game, Jones had stopped nine consecutive shooters.
That was not bad for his first NHL game. And fortunately, it was a sign of things to come.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.