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Can LA Kings Flip The Switch In Time For First Round Matchup vs. San Jose?

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings have been hard at work over the past couple of days, preparing for the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks, starting tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

But if the way the Kings ended the season is any indication, they have some issues to correct before the post-season party begins. Otherwise, they’ll likely be booted from the party very, very early.

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Frozen Royalty Video: Kopitar, Doughty, Sutter After LA Kings Drop 4-2 Decision At Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA — Corey Perry recorded the ninth hat trick of his National Hockey League career to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Honda Center in Anaheim on February 28.

Perry also contributed an assist for a four-point performance.

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Off-Season Work Is Producing Big-Time Results For LA Kings D Drew Doughty

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (right) receives instruction from associate head coach John Stevens (left).
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty enjoyed his best year, in terms of goals, assists and points, in 2009-10, his second National Hockey League season, when he scored 16 goals and contributed 43 assists for 59 points, with a +20 plus/minus rating and 54 penalty minutes.

This season, the All-Star defenseman has played in 48 games, scoring nine goals and adding 18 assists for 27 points, with a +15 plus/minus rating and 36 penalty minutes.

Those numbers put Doughty on pace to score 15 goals and tally 31 assists for 46 points this season, matching his point total last season. But even though he had better offensive numbers back in 2009-10, if he continues on pace, 2015-16 could turn out to be the finest regular season offensive performance of his career, to date.

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LA Kings Continue To Struggle Against Division Rivals

EL SEGUNDO, CA — A common refrain heard from hockey faithful lately is that the Los Angeles Kings, who enter the National Hockey League’s holiday break atop the Pacific Division with a six-point lead in the over the second place San Jose Sharks, are merely taking advantage of what many consider to be the weakest division in the NHL so far this season.

One look at the standings tells much of the story, with three teams in the division with records below .500, and with just six points separating the Sharks from the bottom-dwelling Anaheim Ducks, with the rest of the pack hovering between 32 and 35 points.

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Frozen Royalty Audio: Doughty, Kopitar Interviews And…Bobby Orr?

LA Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (left), defenseman Drew Doughty (center) and center Anze Kopitar (right),
shown here during a recent practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings routine game-day morning skate was considerably more than routine…for head coach Darryl Sutter, defenseman Drew Doughty and for the local media, all because of the presence of a seminal figure in the sport of hockey.

That man was seen on the bench during the morning skate, talking with Sutter. Later, as he made his way into the dressing room area, he stopped to chat with radio play-by-play announcer Daryl Evans. Once inside, Doughty was pulled out of an interview with the media to meet him.

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