What to watch Thursday when the L.A. Kings play the Ottawa Senators

Here are a couple of things to watch when the Kings face off against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at the Canadian Tire Center:

First, the Kings are 3-5-1 on the road after Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Sabres in Buffalo, which helped to explain why they were fifth in the Pacific Division and ninth in the Western Conference at the start of business Wednesday. The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings appeared headed for an early vacation rather than a playing for a chance to defend their title.

Second, a poor road record plus a lack of scoring depth have been costly for the Kings (14-9-5). Anze Kopitar, their leading scorer last season, has only five goals and 12 points. Mike Richards has only four goals and 10 points. Marian Gaborik, their leading goal-scorer in the playoffs, has four goals and eight points in 16 injury-plagued games. Gaborik returned to the lineup Tuesday after a four-game absence because of an upper-body injury.

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Update on injured Kings center Mike Richards

Kings center Mike Richards hasn’t played since the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dave Bolland gave him a concussion with a tough check behind the net in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals last Saturday in Chicago. Kings coach Darryl Sutter couldn’t say whether Richards would play in Game 5 on Saturday. Said Sutter: “We didn’t skate today. Didn’t do much yesterday. So, honestly, I couldn’t tell you. It’s still really doubtful at best.”


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