What we learned from the Kings' 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday:
-- Defenseman Drew Doughty should win the Norris trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, hands down.
He played 30 minutes and eight seconds in the Kings' 5-3 victory and contributed a goal, an assist, a +1 defensive rating, three shots and one hit. And that was the front end of a back-to-back sequence that will conclude Sunday night at Staples Center. He has played more than 30 minutes in each of his last two games and missed the 30-minute mark by only a few seconds in each of the two previous games. His average ice time of 27:27 is second in the NHL only to the 28:16 averaged by Minnesota's Ryan Suter.
All four of Doughty's goals this season have been scored during power plays. "I'm just trying to get open and get shots to the net," he said Saturday, "and the guys are doing a good job finding me and getting bodies in front of the goalie and thankfully they're going in."
-- Doughty and fellow defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Jake Muzzin each scored goals for the Kings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the first time that at least three Kings defensemen had scored in the same game since four defensemen scored in a 5-3 win over Columbus on March 17, 2007. Those four were Rob Blake, Jamie Heward, Lubomir Visnovsky and Mike Weaver.
"Our coaches put lot of emphasis on the D kind of jumping in and being involved in the offense," Doughty said, "and we've been working on it every day after practice."
Practice makes pretty good, if not perfect.
-- Winger Marian Gaborik and center Anze Kopitar continued to show signs of an offensive rebirth. Gaborik's assist on Ehrhoff's goal gave Gaborik points in three straight games and four of the last five; Kopitar's assist on Muzzin's goal gave him points in three straight games and four points total in that span. Jeff Carter remains the team's scoring leader with 10 goals and 24 points and a five-game point streak, with a goal and five points in that span.
On the down side: right wing Tyler Toffoli was held without a point for the third straight game. He scored nine goals in his first 10 games but has scored only two in the 15 that followed.