Wednesday vs. Vancouver
For the second time this season, the Kings fell to the Vancouver Canucks. In their first matchup, the Canucks won 5-2, with Canucks forward JT Miller recording four points. Entering this game, the Kings completely shook up their lines and defensive pairings in hopes of sparking some chemistry. However, they were unable to hinder Vancouver’s high-powered, young offense and power play, and lost 5-3.
The first period opened with a historic moment. Kings center Jeff Carter, scored at 3:53, assisted by Anze Kopitar and Alex Martinez. Kopitar’s primary assist marked his 900th point in the NHL. The captain is the fifth player in Kings history to reach this feat.
The festivities were cut short when the Kings took a penalty. Canucks right-winger Brock Boeser scored on the power play, assisted by Quinn Hughes and Elias Petterson. Last season, Petterson won the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top rookie. He had an amazing night, recording four points.
The Kings’ penalty kill failed again after Drew Doughty was caught for hooking. Ten seconds into the penalty kill, Vancouver captain Bo Horvat scored off a redirection from Hughes.
Even though the penalty kill was unsuccessful, the power play helped create some traction. Halfway through the second period, left-wing Adrian Kempe scored a power play goal, tipping the puck off of Anze Kopitar’s shot on a set play. This was Kempe’s long-awaited first goal of the season, finally jumpstarting his offensive prowess.
A few minutes later, Boeser gave Vancouver the lead, 3-2, scoring off a breakaway.
The third period started with the Kings once again on the penalty kill. As before, the Canucks capitalized, with Boeser scoring another for a hat-trick.
The Canucks earned another power play goal, this time with Pettersson joining the score sheet for his fourth point of the night.
Carter scored for the second time, but it was too late to spur a comeback. The Kings lost 5-3, denoting a fourth straight loss. In these four games, they have allowed five goals in each.
Saturday vs. Chicago
The Kings faced the Chicago Blackhawks for the second time in six days. The Kings hoped to redeem themselves from their 5-1 loss against them last Sunday. In an overtime thriller, the Kings evened the series, winning 4-3 and breaking their four-game losing streak.
The Kings started strong, scoring twice in the first five minutes of play with left-wing Kyle Clifford and defenseman Matt Roy getting the goals. These goals were not made off the most quality shots and were scored mostly because of the miscues of Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford. However, as the saying goes: when you get pucks on net, good things happen.
Again, the penalty kill spelled trouble for the Kings. Off a Kempe penalty, Blackhawks left-winger Dominik Kubalik scored off a rebound by Kirby Dach, who was drafted third overall by the Blackhawks in the 2019 Draft.
After the Kempe penalty, the Kings brought more discipline.They would not take another penalty for the rest of the game.
The Hawks scored again toward the end of the first period. This time it was Kings goalie Jack Campbell who misplayed the puck, giving Chicago an easy, empty-net goal.
The game was quiet until centerman Michael Amadio gave the Kings a 3-2 lead, tipping in a shot past Crawford halfway through the third period.
The match looked as good as won for the Kings, but the Hawks cranked up the aggression in the last few minutes. With two minutes left, the Hawks pulled Crawford for six attackers. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews got the equalizer, taking the game to overtime.
In OT, the teams split possession of the puck. It looked like the game would resort to a shootout, but the Kings had other ideas. They pulled out victorious with Doughty as the overtime hero, scoring with 17 seconds left in the five minute OT period.
After these two games, the Kings’ record is now 5-9-0. Since the penalty kill does not appear to be improving, the Kings need to refrain from taking unnecessary penalties. In their win against Chicago, the Kings recorded 49 shots on goal, so they should continue taking shots, even if they aren’t always the prettiest.
The Kings will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.