Well, that wasn’t pretty. In fact, that was the worst loss of the Kings season. It was worse than the 7-3 loss in Carolina, and the 5-0 loss to Nashville in February. (Though an argument could be made that being shutout and losing by 5 is worse than scoring 2 and still losing by 5. Either way, not a goal differential you want.) It was the 45th time in 68 games they’d given up the first goal, inching up to 66% now. And with the Sharks losing, this game could have put them in 2nd place in the Pacific. *Instead, with the Avalanche winning, they are now out of a playoff spot. With 14 games left this was not the one to lose. Unfortunately, there are too many games we can point to recently to say ‘oh, if only…’ Chicago. Edmonton. But it wasn’t even like they were contenders in this game. For 4 minutes they could have been. 4 whole minutes in which the Kings had a chance. (Oh, and I suppose the first 3 minutes. Those didn’t totally suck.)

Ugh, okay let’s get this over with. Lots of action in the first ten minutes. Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli almost opened up the scoring about a minute in on a delayed penalty – oh how nice to see their chemistry back! So 1:09 into the game the Kings are on a power play. Sweet, right? Nope. 1:51 in Dustin Brown took a penalty and there were in a 4-on-4 situation. You know when’s not a good time to give up a goal? With 7 seconds left in your ‘power play’ so that 7 seconds after the goal you’re on the penalty kill. Yeah… After Jonathan Quick made two spectacular saves nobody else bothered to clear the puck so sure enough, Bortuzzo goal. His second of the season. (Collective sigh there – how many times have we given up goals to a player who wouldn’t normally score?) After killing off the remainder of the penalty Tarasenko took a penalty so back to the power play the Kings went. Hmm, anyone want to play some 5-on-5 hockey? No? Okay. There were 3, 4, 5 rebound chances a truck could have driven through the Kings didn’t capitalize on. Then Thompson went to the box for a face-off violation and seriously 5-on-5? Anyone? Of course, they followed up not scoring on the power play by giving up a goal, and oh yes we haven’t even played 9 minutes. I would have called for goaltender interference since Quick was taken out a few seconds before and didn’t have time to recover or even get off the ground before Parayko shot but who knows about that anymore either? The Kings were lucky to only be down 2-0 by the end of the first, especially since Drew Doughty (does that man ever leave the ice) slid into the net in a strange way and was favoring his left leg for the last 30 seconds of the period yet continued to play.

Avoiding the potential disaster that would have been a Doughty injury, the Kings also avoiding waking up for the second period apparently. For the first half, I’m not sure anyone on the ice, nor the audience, was awake. Doughty finally broke the tedium by scoring, so he was clearly feeling better. The pass from Anze Kopitar was flawless, and the shot from the front of the net was stunning. (Once again I’m in awe of the hockey sense Kopitar has. It’s incredible how he can pick his spots.) For some bizarre reason, the Blues challenged – Tanner Pearson didn’t actually touch Jake Allen and if he did and I missed it, it was because Allen’s own teammate was pushing him. So the Kings kept their goal, and in theory their momentum. Kopitar was doing more beautiful things, yet while resetting Jake Muzzin lost the puck and the Blues found it. Right in front of Quick. I couldn’t have rolled my eyes harder. What could have potentially been their comeback was instead the beginning of the end. 2:28 later no less than three Kings couldn’t contain Barbashev who scored on his breakaway (four I guess if you include Quick.)

Ugh, we still have 20 more minutes to go? Quick didn’t; Jack Campbell minded the net for the third, but it wasn’t too pretty either. 26 seconds in the score became 5-1. Then 58 seconds in it became 6-1. He did manage to stop 11 of 14 shots but… oh, wait that’s not so great either. He had a tough job, and to be fair the team in front of him didn’t really show up. The only things the Kings did right were win face-offs (61.7%), outhit 30-13, and had 5 takeaways to 0. But outhitting a team doesn’t stop them from scoring 7 goals on you, so it was a small ‘moral victory’ if you will. 7:48 in Alexander Sheen and Derek Forbert tried to get into it but instead got coincidental minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. But when Schwartz got the Blues 7th, not even the Blues fans were cheering too hard. It was just sad at this point. Not many Kings fans had hung in (in fact if you’re still here at this part of the recap, thanks!) With 3:14 remaining Alec Martinez got a penalty (at this point do we care or do we just want the torture to be over?) And with 40.3 seconds remaining they had a power play but did we think it could be the beginning of a comeback? No, it wasn’t but at least a Brown goal from Carter and Kopitar at 19:45 meant there was something to celebrate for those of us who stuck around. And proved that the Kings leaders were still out there.

Onto the next? Le sigh.

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