EL SEGUNDO – When a player reaches the big leagues, he really doesn’t know how things will shake out in his rookie season. For Kings center Alex Iafallo, his initial campaign in the NHL has been pretty decent.
Iafallo, 24, has two goals and eight assists while averaging 16:07 of ice time. He also has 74 shots on goal. But he knows that with the second half of the season just ahead, when teams will battle for postseason berths, that learning curve is bound to get a bit tougher.
“Oh, yeah, it’s all learning from here,” said Iafallo, whose team on Saturday night at 7 will play at Vancouver. “And it’s good. I didn’t want it to be easy because it’s good to learn, and it’s good, every practice, every game, to learn and just understand how the game goes sometimes and using that to get better.”
Iafallo, of Eden, N.Y., after practice Friday was asked to assess the first 38 games of his career.
“A lot of hard work, but it is fun and just gotta keep staying positive and using everything that I’ve learned to my advantage and be prepared every game,” he said.
Iafallo said those two elements – working hard and being ready – are the keys to success at this level.
“I’ve said it all the time, and it’s on the walls here (at Toyota Sports Center),” said Iafallo, who played college hockey at University of Minnesota Duluth.
Doughty: Team did not earn point
The Kings (22-11-5, 49 points) are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday to the Vegas Golden Knights at Staples Center. The Kings led 1-0 after one period, but were out-shot 15-3 in the second – 39-28 overall.
Veteran defenseman Drew Doughty afterward suggested his team was not worthy of the point it earned by taking Vegas to overtime.
“We are lucky to get the point,” said Doughty, whose late third-period goal tied the game 2-2.
“Quickie (goalie Jonathan Quick) had to obviously play well again. They out-shot us by a pretty big margin. We had a really, really bad second…