Game 9: Kings Lose 3-2, fall to 3-5-2
DETROIT – The outcome of today’s loss essentially underlined the frustration of the Los Angeles Kings this season as the Kings tied the game in the final minute of regulation only to surrender the game-winning goal with just five seconds to go in the game. And with that, the defending champs continue to struggle.
After a beautiful goal by Pavel Datsyuk to open the scoring in the first, the Detroit Red Wings extended their lead to two on a goal by rookie phenom Damien Brunner who let a slapper go that Jonathan Quick really should have had.
The Kings, however, were able to save face before the intermission as Anze Kopitar put Los Angeles on the board with just 40 seconds remaining in the opening frame. From there, there was no offensive action until the final minute of regulation.
In the final minute with Quick pulled for the extra skater, the Kings pressed and in front was defenseman Alec Martinez who jumped on a loose puck and shot it past a sprawled Jimmy Howard to tie the game. This game looked to be headed into overtime – or so we thought.
With just five seconds to go, Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson took a point shot that trickled through the legs of Jonathan Quick and into the net. Game, set and match. The Kings were literally seconds away from earning at least a point and they couldn’t make it happen.
As frustrating as Thursday’s shutout loss in Nashville was, today’s last-second heartbreaker takes the cake. The reigning champs, with the same team intact mind you, are tied for last place in the Western Conference mostly because of their lack of offense. Then, after scoring the game’s first goal in nearly two periods, the Kings give it right back just 48 seconds later, failing to register even a regulation point. Most Western matchups so far have been three-point affairs yet the Kings continue to struggle. I don’t know if the competition is that much tougher or that the Kings just don’t care as much as they should but something needs to change. Unfortunately, they don’t have the time as they’re in St. Louis tomorrow to take on the high-flying Blues.
Whatever the case may be, the status quo in Los Angeles is flat-out unacceptable and the Kings, with the talented roster they have, should be playing a hell of a lot better than this. It’s as simple as that.