Reactions to the Kings’ 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their home-opening game Friday at Staples Center didn’t vary much. The consensus was the King must play better if they hope to win. Glaring errors cost them during the pivotal second period, according to Kings captain Anze Kopitar.
“We didn’t play the way we’re supposed to play,” Kopitar said. “A couple of bad line changes, a couple of missed coverages and they cashed in on it. We just can’t let that happen. You can’t expect to win when you let in four goals in one period. That second period was not good.”
Of playing for what could be an extended period without Quick, Kopitar added, “Yeah, he’s a big part of this team, and arguably the best goalie in the NHL, but we can’t do anything about it. A magic spell won’t bring him back. We’ve got to play with what we’ve got. We’ve got to play hard and, obviously, a lot better than we did tonight.”
Nic Dowd scored twice and Devin Setoguchi had a goal and an assist as the Kings routed the Ducks, 6-1, in an exhibition game Wednesday at Staples Center. Justin Auger, Dustin Brown and Andy Andreoff also scored for the Kings, who are 2-1 in exhibition play. Peter Budaj made 14 saves and Thomas McCollum made 12 as the Kings split the goaltending duties evenly. The Kings outshot the Ducks, 48-27.
Here’s what Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said after a strange play in which he appeared to score only to have the puck bounce back to him before he sent it back into the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday: “I thought the first one went in, but I looked at the ref and he was shaking his head and so I just tried to put it in again just for good measure.”
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty had a second consecutive rough game during Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. He took a key penalty in the third period that led to the go-ahead power-play goal for the Canucks’ Radim Vrbata. He also had a defensive rating of minus-3 in a team-leading 24:54. He also assisted on the Kings’ only goal, a power-play strike by Marian Gaborik in the second period.
Doughty also was a minus-2 in the Kings’ 3-2 overtime loss Wednesday to the Ducks, which was far from his best game of the season. He and Gaborik collided in a defensive breakdown that led to Ryan Kesler’s winning goal in OT. Doughty and Gaborik both went to cover defenseman Hampus Lindholm, leaving Kesler with plenty of open ice to set and fire a shot from low in the right faceoff circle past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Overall, Doughty’s plus-minus rating has dipped to plus-1.
Kings center Anze Kopitar assisted on Marian Gaborik’s second-period goal for his 600th point in the NHL on Saturday at Staples Center. It was one of the Kings’ few highlights in a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Kopitar has 216 goals and 384 assists. He tied Butch Goring for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time list for assists and became the seventh player to reach 600 points in a Kings uniform.
Kings forward Tyler Toffoli needed a little coaxing to talk to reporters after his boarding major and game misconduct led to the go-ahead power-play goal for the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday at Staples Center. When he did speak, he wasn’t particularly candid at first, but then he owned up to his mistake.
“I don’t really know what happened,” Toffoli said of his hit from behind that sent Vancouver’s Alex Burrows crashing into the boards in front of the Kings’ bench. “It all happened really quickly. I haven’t seen anything yet (on the replay). … Then I came into the room, and I haven’t thought about it too much.”
Later, he got a bit more expansive.
“It sucks,” Toffoli said of his boarding major and game misconduct and what happened as a result of the play. “I wish it didn’t happen. I wish we had won the game. I feel like it’s on my shoulders right now, and it’s not a good feeling.”
Looks like Tuesday was a rough night in Denver for the retired gentleman, as Kings coach Darryl Sutter once called the folks who keep track of the statistics for the NHL at the league’s games, There were a couple of significant scoring chances in the Kings’ 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
The Kings’ first goal now reads: Marian Gaborik from Brayden McNabb and Justin Williams at 7:47 of the first period. So, take away an assist to Dustin Brown and add one for Williams, who ended up with three for the game.
The Kings’ third goal now reads: Kyle Clifford from Justin Williams and Andrej Sekera at 14:25 of the first period. So, take away a goal for McNabb and add an assist for Sekera, his first point since the Kings acquired him last month.
Kings forward Jeff Carter isn’t among the most talkative players in the dressing room, and he doesn’t often give insightful answers when he does speak to reporters. However, he cut to the heart of the Kings’ troubles after a 5-2 loss Sunday to the Winnipeg Jets.
Said Carter:: “I do not even think it was close to be honest with you. We know what to expect coming in here. We have played here for the last four or five years. We did not play near close to what we should be playing to even come close to getting two points. We need to get going. We are in a tight race and every game for us right now is a playoff game, and we need to get our level up.”
The Kings face the Oilers on Tuesday in Edmonton to conclude a two-game trip.
Here’s Darryl Sutter summing up the Kings’ losing streak, which was extended to three games with a 5-2 loss Sunday afternoon to the Winnipeg Jets: “The Ottawa game we got a goal taken away from us (on a quick whistle during a goal-mouth scramble in a 1-0 loss). Then I said after that game some of older guys didn’t play very, and I think in Anaheim some of them didn’t play very well and some tonight did not play very well. So it’s not that it’s not a team thing.”
The Kings have lost two in a row after a 4-2 defeat Friday to the rival Ducks at the Honda Center. They had won eight in a row after losing 10 of 12 during a dismal stretch that threat their playoff chances. Consistency, or lack thereof, is a legitimate question for the 2014-15, particularly after a game like Friday’s. Kings captain Dustin Brown didn’t want to touch the topic, however.
“We win eight in a row and then we lose two and you guys think it’s consistency,” Brown said tersely to reporters after the Kings squandered a two-goal lead in the third period, giving up four goals to the Ducks in the final 20 minutes. “I don’t know why you said consistency because nobody was questioning that two games ago.”