With a 4-1 victory in Vancouver on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Kings punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight year and 32nd time in franchise history.
The win also gave them 100 points and a 45-22-10 record with five regular-season games remaining. Additionally, they’ve tied the mark for fifth-most points all-time in franchise history and this year’s Kings team are the second-fastest in franchise history to reach the 100-point plateau (77 games), trailing only the 1974-75 team (76 games). Earlier this year, the team tied the 1990-91 Kings as the third-fastest team in franchise history to reach the 40-win mark in a single season, doing so in 69 games.
In advance of knowing this year’s playoff opponent and schedule, here are 10 tidbits related to LA’s post-season history:
1. Los Angeles returns to the Stanley Cup Playoffs seeking to earn their first series win since the 2014 Final and avoid matching the longest span of seasons without a series win in club history – L.A. snapped a nine-season drought (2002–2011) in 2012 en route to their first Cup.
2. Anze Kopitar (22-48—70 in 86 GP) ranks among the top 10 in franchise playoff history for career goals (t-6th), assists (t-2nd), points (3rd) and games played (4th). He is tied with Justin Williams and Luc Robitaille on the goals and assists lists, respectively, and needs six appearances to tie Dustin Brown, Dave Taylor and Jonathan Quick for the second most in club playoff history behind Robitaille (94).
3. Drew Doughty (16-35—51 in 84 GP) is the franchise leader in playoff goals, assists and points among defensemen; he also ranks among the top 10 in each category for Kings players of any position (tied or outright). His 16 career postseason goals are the fifth most among active defensemen behind Kris Letang (23 in 149 GP), Victor Hedman (22 in 155 GP), Brent Burns (20 in 94 GP) and John Carlson (19 in 123 GP).
4. Drew Doughty also holds the top two single-postseason performances by a defenseman in Kings history, despite missing the team’s seven-game series against Edmonton in the 2022 First Round due to recovering from wrist surgery. He has logged only eight playoff games since lifting the Cup in 2014 (0-1—1). His last Stanley Cup Playoffs goal was a 2-2 equalizer in Game 1 of the 2014 Final – a tally that set the stage for a multi-goal comeback sealed in overtime.
5. Anze Kopitar (Slovenia) can become the second player in NHL history born and trained outside of the “Big Six” with three or more Stanley Cup wins (Marian Hossa, Slovakia; 3x). He also can join Zdeno Chara (Slovakia; 2011 BOS) as the second player born outside of the “Big Six” to captain a Cup winner. The “Big Six” includes Canada, Czechia, Finland, Russia, Sweden and United States.
6. Phillip Danault is one of five Kings with Stanley Cup Final experience and has developed a reputation for shutting down opposing stars since helping Montreal rally from a 3-1 series deficit vs. Toronto in 2021. Over the past two postseasons, Danault has been on the ice for five goals scored by his opponents’ regular-season goals leader – while logging 283:39 TOI against them (1 in 2021 R1, Auston Matthews; 1 in 2021 R2, Kyle Connor; 1 in 2021 SCSF, Max Pacioretty; 0 in 2021 SCF, Brayden Point; 2 in 2022 R1, Leon Draisaitl).
7. Kevin Fiala and Viktor Arvidsson were teammates with the Predators during their run to the 2017 Final and are set to skate in their first postseason in a Kings uniform, with Arvidsson in his second campaign with L.A. (he was injured for 2022 R1). Fiala can challenge the Kings benchmark for most points in a playoff year by a player in his first season with the franchise (Marian Gaborik: 14-8—22 in 2014 and Wayne Gretzky: 5-17—22 in 1989).
8. Adrian Kempe led the Kings with 2-4—6 in the 2022 First Round. He won the 2015 Calder Cup at age 18 with the Manchester Monarchs, scoring four goals in the club’s final three games during the championship series.
9. It has been 21 years since a goaltender other than Jonathan Quick earned a playoff win for Los Angeles, a span of 49 consecutive postseason wins. Felix Potvin was the last to do so before Quick, in Game 6 of the 2002 Conference Quarterfinals against Colorado when he helped the No. 7-ranked Kings force Game 7. Potvin also was the last before Quick to claim a series-clinching victory for Los Angeles (Game 6 of 2001 CQF).
10. Joonas Korpisalo has posted a series-clinching shutout (Game 5 of 2020 SCQ) and an epic 85-save performance in the fourth-longest game in NHL history (Game 1 of 2020 R1). Korpisalo (2 SO, 3-5 record) can become the sixth goaltender in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) with three shutouts through his first four career playoff wins (after Petr Mrazek, Ilya Bryzgalov, Brent Johnson, Patrick Lalime & Terry Sawchuk).
All data was provided by the NHL Media department.
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