Ten things to know about the Kings: Making the playoffs is imperative

www.latimes.com
3 min read
fairly easy
The Kings should have an improved defense, but scoring could be the biggest key to returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
Ahead of the Kings' season opener on Thursday night against the Vegas Golden Knights, here are 10 things to know about their 2021-22 campaign.

1. Last year … the Kings didn't start terribly, going 13-11-6 over their first 30 games in a difficult Pacific Division. They faded down the stretch, however, finishing the shortened season with a 8-17-1 skid to miss the postseason for a third consecutive year.

2. Player to watch … Anze Kopitar, who last year tallied a team-high 50 points in the 56-game season, eclipsing the 1,000 point mark for his career. Drew Doughty also continues to anchor the team's blue line, after finishing second on the club last season with 34 points. The two veterans were key pieces on the Kings' last contending teams a decade ago. To return to relevancy this year, they'll likely need to lead the way again.

Kings center Anze Kopitar skates to the puck during the second period against the Arizona Coyotes on May 3 in Glendale, Ariz. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

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3. In the net … Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick will form what the Kings hope can be one of the better goaltending tandems in the league. Petersen, 26, is coming off a breakthrough season in which he posted a .911 save percentage while starting the majority of the team's games, starred for Team USA at the World Championships in the…
Jack Harris
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