The LA Kings ended their 2022-2023 season with a 5-3 road win over their freeway rivals, the Anaheim Ducks.

Goal Breakdown:

First period:

ANA: Troy Terry (23), ASST: Cam Fowler (38)

LAK: Anze Kopitar (28), ASST: Adrian Kempe (26), Matt Roy (15)

Second period:

LAK: PP Adrian Kempe (39), ASST: Drew Doughty (42), Viktor Arvidsson (31)

LAK: Trevor Moore (10), ASST: Viktor Arvidsson (32)

Third period:

ANA: Max Jones (9), ASST: Kevin Shattenkirk (23), Ryan Strome (16)

LAK: PP Adrian Kempe (40), ASST: Drew Doughty (43), Viktor Arvidsson (33)

ANA: Trevor Zegras (23), ASST: Adam Henrique (16), Troy Terry (38)

LAK: EN Adrian Kempe (41), ASST: Matt Roy (16), Anze Kopitar (46)



LAK: 5

ANA: 3


LAK: 36

ANA: 24


LAK: 2/8

ANA: 0/2

Here are the takeaways from Thursday’s victory:

Kopitar leads the Kings in scoring

For the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, Anze Kopitar finished the year as the leading scorer for the LA Kings. His 28th goal of the year in the first period gave him his 73rd point on the season, passing the injured Kevin Fiala who had 72 points. Kopitar would add an assist on Kempe’s empty-net goal (more on his night in a minute) to give him 74 points (28-46) on the year.

At age 35, the captain has been an important player for the LA Kings throughout his entire career. Every night he is tasked with playing top-line minutes, and special teams, all while having to play a 200-foot game. I don’t think we’ll see a player like him wear a Kings uniform for a while. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Kempe nets 41 and a hatty

What a year it has been for Adrian Kempe! After recording 35 goals last season, Kempe signed a four-year contract with an annual average value of $5,500,000. Many people, including me, wondered if Kempe could build off his 2021-2022 campaign or slack off after getting his raise. It’s safe to say all those concerns should be put to rest. His second power-play goal of the game gave him 40 goals on the year, the first King to do so since Luc Robitaille did it in the 1993-1994 season.

He didn’t stop there. With the Ducks trailing by a goal with under two minutes remaining, they pulled netminder John Gibson for the extra attacker, giving Kempe an opportunity for a hat trick. When the puck went to his stick in his own end, without hesitation, Kempe fired the puck down the ice and into the open cage to register his second career hat trick against Anaheim and an exclamation point on his 2022-2023 season.

The Kings are going to need more of that from Kempe if they want to make a deep playoff run.

Rematch in round one

With the regular season over, the Kings will now turn their focus to the Edmonton Oilers. Last year’s series between the two teams went the distance as the Oilers won the series in seven games. Connor McDavid went absolutely off that series averaging two points per game.

The Oilers pose a tall task as they became the first team since the 1995-1996 Pittsburgh Penguins to have three players record at least 100 points in a season. For the Kings, they will have Drew Doughty and Viktor Arvidsson this time around but concerns about Alex Edler, Gabriel Vilardi, and Kevin Fiala’s status loom. That’s one thing to keep an eye on as the series approaches. There’s plenty of bad blood and animosity toward one another that should make this series a great one.

*If you haven’t bought your playoff tickets now, I encourage you to do so Kings fans!

UP NEXT: The Kings will start their series against the Oilers Monday night, April 17th. The start time has yet to be announced.

Featured image credit: AP Photo/Ashley Landis

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