LA Kings: Inability to close out games leaves the Kings singing the Blues

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The LA Kings let another lead slip away.

Unacceptable. That’s about the only way to describe the LA King’s loss to the St Louis Blues on Friday night.

The Kings started the game by taking a too many men on the ice penalty at the 1:43 mark, and David Perron made them pay on the ensuing power play. The Blues would return the favor and give the Kings two power plays in the first period, but with only two shots on goal for the total of their power play time, the Kings came away empty-handed and went to the locker room at the end of the first period down 1-0.

As has been the norm for this season, the LA Kings actually played very well in the second period. Although they only outshot St. Louis by an 8-5 margin, LA controlled play for most of the period.

With just over three minutes left in the period, Jeff Carter tied the game off a nifty pass from Andreas Athanasiou. With just over a minute before the end of the period, Carl Grundstrom drew a hooking penalty, and the Kings would wind up opening the third period on the power play.

It didn’t take long for the Kings to capitalize on this power play as Dustin Brown would bang home his twelfth goal of the season at the 37-second mark of the third period.

A minute later, Adrian Kempe would put the Kings back on the power play by drawing a hooking penalty, but Kempe giveth and Kempe taketh away, as he would negate this power play by taking retaliatory cross-checking penalty himself.

Even still, the LA Kings were in control of the game until less than two minutes left when the Blues pulled goaltender Ville Husso. With the extra skater on, David Perron scored his second goal of the night, and the Kings would blow another lead late in the game.

The overtime period was all St. Louis right off the hop. They controlled the opening faceoff and played keep away until the Kings took another too many men on the ice penalty. Before the silver and black could touch the puck, the Blues set up shop in the offensive zone, and with the extra attacker on, Mike Hoffman rifled a shot past Cal Petersen and gave St. Louis the 3-2 win.


  • Rasmus Kupari made his NHL debut and had a good game. He had one SOG, two hits, and was 5/7 in the faceoff circle.
  • The Kings outshot the Blues 30-22 but were outhit by a 27-15 total. Each team scored one power-play goal.
  • The LA Kings aren’t going to have much time to linger on this one as these two teams meet again in about 24 hours right back at the Staples Center.

This is a young LA Kings team, and mistakes will be made. With that said, the unforced errors need to stop, and they simply must learn how to play all 60 minutes and close out games on a consistent basis.

They have thirteen games left to play for the month of March, and nine of those are against teams currently sitting in a playoff spot. Since the end of their six-game winning streak (it suddenly seems like a long time ago), the Kings are 0-2-2. If this team is going to make the playoffs, they need to get their game back on track in a hurry.

Otherwise, they might be sellers come April 12th.