Manor Rapid Review: Kings Push Home Record to 7-2-1, Defeat Blackhawks 6-2

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Tuesday was a ‘business as usual’ day for the LA Kings. They opened their three-game homestand with a 6-2 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, improving to 7-2-1 on home ice since Jim Hiller took over as head coach.

Ironically, the opening period of Tuesday’s blowout win is likely one the Kings would like back. LA opened the scoring but Chicago did not surrender many opportunities the rest of the period, and Nick Foligno capitalized on a two-man advantage to tie the game towards the end of the first.

Kempe — "Our passing in the first period might have been the worst I've seen all season"

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) March 20, 2024


From that point forward, the game was reminiscent of when these two teams met up late last week in Chicago. The Kings outmatched the Blackhawks offensively and put up six goals before the night was over.

Following Adrian Kempe’s brief absence from the lineup due to an upper body injury, his chemistry with Anže Kopitar has been reignited of late and they once again helped carry the team offensively. The duo combined for six points, including a pair of goals from Kopitar. In recent years, there has been a strong correlation between the success of Kempe and Kopitar and the success of the team. Thus, it should be a positive sign for Hiller, as they appear to be on top of their games with the regular season winding down.

KOPI FROM JUICE AND IT'S 3-1
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@LAKings I #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/SDQOyNcDpf

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) March 20, 2024


Stat Sheet Takeaways: Matt Roy’s seven blocks on Tuesday was a season-high for any Kings skater; Roy nearly tied his career-best number of eight. He has been reliable for the Kings all season and is still very committed to the defensive side of the game even when the offense for LA is clicking.

Laferriere’s Strong Game: Although it might not show up entirely in the box score, one could argue Tuesday night’s game was Alex Laferriere’s best in the NHL thus far. In addition to his opening goal, Laferriere brought energy to his line and drove play. He also made several noteworthy defensive plays, in addition to leading all players in the game with four hits. The rookie from Harvard has had an impressive first full professional season and more efforts like Tuesday will only help the Kings moving forward.

LAF BURIES THE REBOUND
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@LAKings I #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/opzATw3sw6

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) March 20, 2024


Taking Care of Business: Against the bottom-7 teams in the NHL this season, the Kings have put together a record of 15-0-1 with a plus-41 goal differential. LA has confidently beaten the league’s lesser teams in 2023-24, wherein years past they had a tendency to play down to their opponents at times. Of course, the true measure of a squad’s success is how they perform against other playoff teams, but the Kings have largely beaten the teams they’ve needed to beat this season. Wednesday brings another big test, as a win against Minnesota — a team chasing them for a playoff spot in the Western Conference — could create some much-needed separation in the Western Conference standings.

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