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Kings Game 76 Plus/Minuses: Copley Stellar & Offense Still Not Clicking

Copley finished with 25 saves and 0.49 goals saved above expected.



The Los Angeles Kings found a way to defeat the Seattle Kraken 3-1 on Saturday, but it wasn't a pretty game.

They're still trying to re-discover their high-flying offense from their most recent homestand. But have kept their impressive defensive play.

It was an important win against a team they haven't beaten this season, moving them within one point of clinching a playoff spot. 

Here are some pluses and minuses from Saturday's game.

+ Copley's Play Between the Pipes

Just when we all thought Joonas Korpisalo was cementing himself as the number one goalie for the Kings. Pheonix Copley puts in a fantastic performance in his return. 

Todd McLellan broke up the goalie rotation last game, giving Korpisalo two straight starts and Copley responded with a message Saturday. 

He's not giving up the net easily. 

Copley finished with 25 saves and 0.49 goals saved above expected. 

More importantly, he came up with some big saves when it mattered. He had the massive save on an Eeli Tolvanen breakaway early in the first to keep the Kings up 1-0. And continued to come up big in the third with the Kraken applying a ton of pressure.

There wasn't much he could do on the one goal he gave up.

This performance comes after a shaky game from Copley last Sunday, letting up six goals against the St. Louis Blues. 

Having a short memory is a great quality for a goalie and Copley's ability to recover after a poor game is impressive. 

I still think Korpisalo will get the nod in game one, but Copley is making that decision difficult for McLellan. He keeps winning and is starting to do it in style.

– The Offense

It's a bit tough to jump on the offense in a game the team one, but they certainly weren't at their best.

The Kings average just shy of 33 shots per game and put just 19 on Martin Jones Saturday.

They've lacked finish during this road trip and that continued against Seattle. Other than Carl Grundstrom's bardown snipe, the Kings couldn't bury their chances.

Their two other goals came via the empty net and a fortunate bounce backdoor to Sean Durzi.

The Kings had a 12 game stretch where they scored 56 goals before the road trip, so it isn't too surprising the goals have dried up. But they'll need to re-discover their finishing touch heading into the postseason.

Now isn't the time to go cold and the Kings have to figure it out.

In the last two games they could blame their inability to score on strong goaltending, but that wasn't the case against Seattle. 

Jones was fine in net, but wasn't amazing by any means. 

The Kings have too much talent to continue their offensive struggles, but they can't let it go one for too long and risk a drop in confidence. 

+ Team Faceoff Percentage

The Kings absolutely dominated the Kraken in the faceoff circle on Saturday, winning 64.1% of faceoffs.

The league has moved to a more dominant possession style and the Kraken in particular like to control the puck. So winning faceoffs at such a high clip is huge.

The Kings failed to turn the faceoff wins into possession most of the time, but that doesn't take away from the impressive game their centers had.

Up the middle, Rasmus Kupari won 83.3% of his draws, on just six attempts. Phil Danault won 66.7%, Kopitar won 52.4 % and Blake Lizotte won 75%. With Carl Grundstrom adding a faceoff win in the mix. 

Winning such a high number of faceoffs makes the team's life a lot easier and the Kings' centers do this with regularity.

The Kings don't have a single center winning less that 50% of their faceoffs and on nights like Saturday, they can take over games in the dot.

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