LA Kings vs. Ducks: Three takeaways and standouts in 3-1 loss

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Cal Petersen
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

LA Kings vs. Ducks: The MASH unit.

It is no secret the LA Kings are missing four regulars in their lineup right now. Forwards Blake Lizotte and Andreas Athanasiou are on the covid list and should be back sooner than later. Defensemen Sean Walker and Matt Roy both suffered injuries in the Kings last game, and they will most likely be out longer term.

Like a bad game, injuries happen to every team – especially when dealing with covid situations. It’s how it is dealt with that can make the difference between a winning and losing season.

If Walker and Roy are indeed going to miss extended time, then the Kings are going to have to figure out the defense in a hurry. The Anaheim Ducks had 43 shots on goal tonight, and if it wasn’t for a spectacular performance by Cal Petersen, it could have been much worse.

The Clague-MacDermid pairing had an especially rough night, with Clague at a -3 and MacDermid at a -2. Mark Alt, who was signed mainly for depth in Ontario, didn’t have a bad night but certainly wasn’t brought in to be a long term solution at the NHL level.

The Kings do have Tobias Bjornfot and Austin Strand waiting in the wings, but to get them in, one of Alt or MacDermid will have to sit – Clague will most likely stay in as the Kings want to see what they have in him. This means the defense will have three rookies (Clague, Anderson, and Bjornfot/Strand) and a guy still learning the system (Maatta).

Getting the kids playing time is ok, but the goaltending will have to be spectacular every night like it was tonight if the Kings are going to keep pace in the playoff hunt.