L.A. Kings lose two in a row

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Photo above: Marian Gaborik of the LA. Kings about to start the shootout in
Wednesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks in the Honda Center. (YouTube)

Ryan Getzlaf in the post game interviews. (Claudia Gestro)
Ryan Getzlaf in the post game interviews.
(Claudia Gestro)

This turned out to be a great game in the freeway rivalry between the L.A Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. Coming into it the Ducks were on a three game losing streak. The Kings had won big game against the Canucks in Vancouver.

In the first period the Kings jumped out to a two-goal lead, here in the Honda Center. Anze Kopitar put the puck in the net just over nine minutes into the game and then10 minutes later Drew Doughty slapped the second goal in with assists from Jake Muzzin and Jeff Carter.

But in the second period the Ducks got on the board when Cam Fowler scored 7 minutes into the period. Trevor Lewis scored again for the Kings, but then Jakob Silfverberg got a tip-in to bring the Ducks back within one more goal.

The third period gave the fans in the stands five scores, two by the Kings and three by the Ducks, who tied up the game, sending it to over time. But over time was scoreless. Neither team could get past the goalies. It came down to the shoot out. Anaheim was able to score two goals and L.A. only one.

Jason LaBarbera in post game interviews (Claudia Gestro)
Jason LaBarbera in post game interviews
(Claudia Gestro)

To add insult to the shoot out, Ducks goalie Jason Labarbera waved bye-bye to the Kings after blocking Jeff Carter’s final shot.

If there is a fitting end to this game, in this rivalry, it will be the picture of the Anaheim Ducks Goalie waving at his rivals from up the I-5 freeway.

After Wednesday’s loss Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said, “We lost, and we should have,” following up with “It was like a pond hockey game, like one of our pre-season games.”

A reporter asked him, “Seriously?” to which the coach replied, “Very seriously.”

We got a little of his thinking when Sutter said, “We never let it get away from us, we never really had the lead.” Even though the Kings led by two twice in the game.

Their next time these two teams play each other, which is Saturday at the Staples Center, should be very interesting.

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On Thursday the Kings played the Dallas Stars in the Staples Center. On Tuesday the Stars got a road win against the Arizona Coyotes in Phoenix, after a seven game losing streak so they were hungry to get another win. And after Wednesday’s game against the Ducks, the Kings were looking to get back in a winning groove.

But it never happened. The Stars’ Ryan Garbutt scored 13 minutes into the first period unassisted and then Jason Spezza scored in the second period, with assists from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

L.A. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “I’ll see you goy, we got a bus to catch. Got a long flight home tonight.”  (Claudia Gestro)
L.A. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “I’ll see you goy, we got a bus to catch. Got a long flight home tonight.”
(Claudia Gestro)

That was it for the scoring and the Dallas Stars got their second win in a row.

One stat to take note of: Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen only needed to make 27 saves for the entire game. The Kings just weren’t getting many shots at the net. So far this season, L.A. is only getting 2.35 goals per game, which is even lower than their scoring percentage last season, which was 2.4. During the playoffs last season, the Kings average 3.3 goals per game and during the last game of the Final, L.A. would take as many as 12 shots at the net in each period..

Dallas didn’t shoot any more than Dallas. Martin Jones, The Kings goalie on Thursday, made 25 saves. The difference being the Stars scored on two of their attempts.

Saturday the Kings get a rematch with the Ducks at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But on Wednesday Darryl Sutter said of Anaheim, “They’re a much better team than we are. They proved it last year and they did it again tonight.”