Game number two of this young season is in the books, and for the LA Kings, it was another heartbreaker. After losing their first game of the season to the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in overtime, it was the same bat time, same bat channel, as the Kings lost to the same team by the same score.
While they at least picked up two points in their first two games, losing these games as they did was a gut punch. They held a 3-1 lead in both games, but on Saturday, the Wild scored with 1.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime and then won it with 11 seconds left. Now that we’ve caught our collective breath let’s take a look at some takeaways from the LA Kings second game of the season.
Takeaway #1: The special teams is living on the edge.
The good news is the LA Kings have yet to give up a power play goal. In the opener, the Kings killed all six Minnesota power plays, and Saturday night, they killed every one of the Wild’s five power plays — eleven penalty kills in two games.
Allowing that many power play chances per game is truly living on the edge. The Kings’ immediate schedule includes series against Colorado and St. Louis, and if Los Angeles provides those teams that many power play chances, it could very well be lights out.
The penalty kill units have been spectacular so far this season, but the power play units have been, for the most part, dormant. Like the Kings, the Wild have been generous in giving chances with the man advantage, but the Kings have only capitalized on one of them – and that was in game one. On Saturday night, the Kings looked particularly frustrated entering and establishing solid chances on the power play.
Perhaps it’s a side effect of being off for so long combined with a short training camp and no exhibition games, but if the Kings are going to take the next step this season, the power play must improve.