Kings: Top 10 moments of 2010-11

April, 26, 2011
4/26/11
2:13
PM PT
Drum roll, please ...

10. Show stopper: The most spectacular scoring effort of the season belonged to center Jarret Stoll on Jan. 22 in Phoenix. Just under five minutes into the third period, Stoll dived for a loose puck near the Phoenix crease and backhanded it into the goal while still airborne. The goal held up for the winner in the 4-3 victory, ending a three-game losing streak. The Kings were desperate for goals after scoring just two in their previous three games and Stoll showed he was willing to risk injury to get them one.

9. Wearing it well: Anze Kopitar produced the second hat trick of his NHL career in a 4-2 victory March 11 in Columbus, giving him 24 goals on the season. Unfortunately, he would appear in just seven more games and score just one more goal before suffering a season-ending right ankle injury two weeks later against the visiting Avalanche. His offensive production was a big loss during the postseason but probably not as much as his ability to calmly clear pucks from the defensive zone.

8. Ready to rumble: In the most rough-and-tumble game of the season, the Kings matched their best start in franchise history with a 3-1 victory Nov. 11 against the visiting Dallas Stars. The teams combined for four fights and 91 penalty minutes. Kyle Clifford established himself as a fan favorite by decking Brandon Segal in his first NHL fight. As the season went along, Clifford also established himself as a quality NHL player and one of the great success stories.

7. Clipping the Wings: Following their first slump of the season, the Kings faced a huge test Dec. 4 against the visiting Detroit Red Wings, who came into the game sporting a 17-3-3 record. But the Kings were up to the task, as Kopitar scored with 56 seconds remaining in overtime in the 3-2 victory. Kings rookie defenseman Alec Martinez, called up from the AHL a week earlier, also took a big step in establishing himself as an NHL-caliber player with a goal and an assist.

6. More Detroit dominance: The victory over the Red Wings nine days earlier was a solid team effort, but the one on Dec. 13 in Detroit made the Kings looked like a Stanley Cup contender. In the opener of a five-game road trip, Jonathan Quick stopped a career-high 51 shots for his 10th career shutout in the 5-0 victory. His diving stick save on Tomas Holmstrom’s rebound attempt was seen on highlight shows across North America. Kopitar pitched in two goals and third-year defenseman Drew Doughty had three assists.

5. Stunning the Sharks: In what many perceived to be their best all-around effort of the season, the Kings overwhelmed the sluggish Sharks, 4-0, on Dec. 27 in San Jose. Quick had 27 saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season and Dustin Brown scored two goals. Things went so well, even left wing Marco Sturm scored his first goal since coming over from the Bruins. That excitement would be short-lived, however. Sturm struggled to regain his step after offseason knee surgery and was eventually placed on waivers to make room for a bigger bust, Dustin Penner, and the Kings lost their next five games.

4. Capital gains: The Kings went in to Washington D.C. in the middle of a season-long 10-game stretch away from Staples Center and pushed the Capitals all over the ice in a 4-1 victory Feb. 12. Washington, the top-seeded team for the Eastern Conference playoffs, allowed a tie-breaking goal to Kings rookie forward Andrei Loktionov about 3 minutes into the third period, and Kings back-up goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 shots to highlight a sold late-season run.

3. Train keeps a rollin’: A day after they beat the Capitals, the Kings took the train to Philadelphia and knocked off the Flyers, 1-0, behind 40 saves from Quick. Philadelphia, the second-seeded team in the East, lost in regulation to the visiting Kings for the first time in 18 years. Doughty scored the lone goal for Los Angeles, which earned at least a point in its ninth straight game and pulled itself back in the playoff hunt.

2. Postseason clincher: The Kings clinched their second consecutive playoff berth with a 3-2 shootout victory April 6 against the visiting Coyotes. More remarkable was the continued success of Quick and Stoll in the shootout. Quick improved to 10-0 on the season, only the second goalie to achieve that mark in the six years since the shootout was added, and Stoll converted his ninth shootout goal in his 10th attempt, the best percentage by any player with more than four attempts in a season.

1. Who else?: Once again, it was Quick who provided the most memorable moments of the playoffs. He was back to his old self in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series, stopping 34 shots in the 4-0 victory and stealing away home-ice advantage, if only for one game. Doughty also reminded fans of his abilities, totaling two goals and two assists. Quick would be the difference in Game 5 as well, saving 51 shots in the 3-1 victory that brought the series back to Los Angeles.

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