Postgame notes (3/16)

— After a three-game winning streak, the Kings are 0-2-1 in their last three. With tonight’s loss, the Kings fell six points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with 13 games remaining. The Kings are in 13th place in the Western Conference.

— Terry Murray went with the odds in goal, and it didn’t quite work out. The Kings started Erik Ersberg, who was coming off perhaps his best game of the season in a 2-1 shootout loss at San Jose on Saturday. Murray went with the hot hand, and also went with a guy who had previous success against Nashville. Ersberg had allowed the Predators only two goals in a 3-1 loss on Nov. 15 and also fared well against them in a relief role on Oct. 25. Ersberg couldn’t carry it over, however, as he stopped 26 of 30 shots in Monday’s loss. Ersberg has now lost seven consecutive decisions and hasn’t been credited with a win since Dec. 13.

— Alexander Frolov had an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games. Frolov’s career-best scoring streak is eight games. Frolov has two goals and seven assists in those seven games. Frolov also had a team-high seven shots on goal.

— Michal Handzus had one goal and one assist for his seventh multi-point game of the season and his first since he recorded a hat trick against Dallas on March 5. Handzus won 18 of 25 faceoffs.

— Teddy Purcell had a second-period goal. Purcell broke a two-game streak without a point and now has three goals and four assists in his last eight games.

— Anze Kopitar scored a first-period goal to give the Kings a 1-0 lead and extend his hot streak. Kopitar has scored a goal in six of his last eight games and has at least one point in seven of his last eight. In those eight games, Kopitar has six goals and four assists. The goal also gave Kopitar his team-best 60th point (in his 69th game) and his 25th goal pulled him within three of team leader Alexander Frolov’s 28 goals.

— Dustin Brown had a first-period assist. Brown had totaled only one point in his previous four games and still has not scored a goal in his last nine games. Brown’s assist was his 29th of the season, tying the career high he set last season.

— Wayne Simmonds had an assist. Simmonds now has points in two consecutive games, after going nine consecutive games without a point. On the other hand, Simmonds’ second-period hooking penalty led to Joel Ward’s power-play goal, which put Nashville up 2-1.

— Drew Doughty led the Kings in ice time at 26:00. Anze Kopitar led all Kings forwards at 22:11.

— The Kings went 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.

— Nashville outshot the Kings 30-29.

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  • anthony

    No way Nashville is better than us.
    We just lost to an average team that didn’t even have their best player(Jason Arnott) on the ice.
    What gives.
    I don’t understand why Moller gets scratched and this coach plays a 7th D-Man (Harrold) on the second line with Stoll and Frolov.
    I don’t understand why Gauthier is even on the ice.
    I don’t understand why Gauthier is paired off with Jack Johnson.
    And somebody explain to me why Kyle Calder was playing on the power play unit with Kopi & Brown.

    We could have – no should have been only 3 points out of a playoff spot.
    I don’t understand why so many individuals keep giving TM a pass.
    TM can have a power play unit of Westgarth-Ivanans-O’DDonel, and a lot you guys would validate this.

    No wonder we’re out.
    Thanks for the outstanding effort Rich.
    Good night.

  • Moondoggie

    Zeus gets my vote for team MVP this year. He has done everything that has been asked of him; he’s been in front of the net clearing traffic for so many of the Kings goals, he’s been an animal in the corners, his winning faceoffs, his defensive play and his 15 goals as a bonus. This is by far one of the players DL could have traded at the deadline and didn’t. Hopefully he’s a King for a long time, he never did quit tonight and never has since he signed with LA. Talk about a great mentor for the kids coming in….

    Great job, great game, great season Zeus!

  • Tito Jackson

    Hey Calder, pay attention to the game instead of staring at the girl sitting next to me. Classless.

  • cristobal


    personally, i’d give the mvp to kopitar because i feel he’s invaluable to the team every night. he is the one who controls the game for us.
    but, i can’t argue with anything you said about Handzus.
    as one who criticized his performance last season, i can’t help but be ecstatic for Zus and really now view him as a King.
    His lack of “quit” is a joy to watch.

  • metalmaster

    Anthony, Nashville proved tonight that they are a better team than the Kings by winning on the road without their best player in a must win game for both teams. There is a reason that they are 3-0 vs. Kings this year. I don’t think you can blame Murray for the fact that scrubs like Gauthier, Harrold, Ivannans and
    Armstrong are still on the roster.You can blame him for playing Armstrong with Brown and Kopitar and for
    playing Harrold on the power play.

  • Garrett

    It’s hardly fair to jump on Ersberg for this loss. Neither goalie was outstanding, but both made a fair number of big saves that kept their respective teams in the game. This was a very good hockey game and very much like what I expect the playoffs will be like if the Kings manage to sneak in.

    I think it’s probably getting to the point where it’s too late to make up 7 points in the standings (the Kings have so many fewer wins than their competition that they will probably have to get the 8th spot outright, not just tie in points), but if they can play on this road trip the same way they did the last time they headed East then I guess it’s still possible, but that remains to be seen.

  • Baumgartner22

    i finally agree with you. outstanding effort by rich, indeed. thanks, rich!

  • Dan H.

    Wow Cristobal three weeks ago people were drumming Kopitar out of town for lackluster performances and now he’s MVP? That’s a quick turnaround.

    Handzus is a beast and hasn’t said a word when he’s been bumped from line to line with no talent with him lately.

    I think Doughty is the MVP based on minutes and consistency. He’s the only one that hasn’t had a real down streak. He’s had a game here or there that was off par (most remembered is the game he played with the flu).

    Why is Armstrong playing with Frolov and Stoll? Wouldn’t Handzus have been a MUCH better choice to be up there? I know Armstrong had a decent game but again he’s elevated to the second line when he’s a 4th liner at best. That aggravates me.