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LA Kings getting creative to reinvigorate offense

September 27, 2017
Los Angeles Kings center Nic Dowd, second from right, celebrates with Kale Clague, left, Michael Mersch, second from left, and Jaret Anderson-Dolan after Dowd scored against the Las Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LOS ANGELES KINGS

LAST SEASON: 39-35-8, 86 points. Finished fifth in Pacific Division. Missed playoffs.

COACH: John Stevens (first season, seventh NHL season).

ADDED: F Mike Cammalleri, D Christian Folin, G Darcy Kuemper.

LOST: F Jarome Iginla, D Brayden McNabb.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Drew Doughty. He’s on the short list of best defensemen in hockey, but Doughty has finished with 50 points just once in the last seven seasons. That should change with a shift away from former head coach Darryl Sutter’s defense-first approach, allowing Doughty to unleash the offensive skill set that makes him such a force on the power play and in 3-on-3 overtime.

OUTLOOK: After missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, the Kings are running out of time to make another postseason run with the core that won two Stanley Cup titles. With limited options to upgrade the roster, the Kings are getting creative to reinvigorate an offense that ranked 24th in scoring by making Pierre Turgeon offensive coordinator. On the ice, the Kings will be looking for bounce-back seasons from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown and continued growth by Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.

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