The Devils were coming off a 6 game losing streak, so what better team to play than the last place, canít score goals or win a game to save their life Los Angeles Kings? The Kings did actually get off to a good start. A feisty start, one might say. Which was refreshing to see, a start with some gusto, effort, and actual chances. They looked, for the first five minutes anyway, like they were coming to play. But both teams are far cry from the two that battled for the Stanley Cup in 2012. (In fact only two players on the Devils team that season remains, Greene and Zajak.) 6 minutes in, however, the tide turned. It began with Jonathan Quick showing off his attitude and breaking the stick of Wood, who got a little too close for comfort. It turned into a brawl, which turned into another Quickie penalty, but that was a 4-on-4 because Wood also went for slashing. What was exciting quickly turned sour as the Kings failed to lodge another shot on goal for another 6 minutes, while the Devils surged and peppered Quick with 6 of their own.*Quick was looking jumpy, and not quite centered. I was concerned, especially when with*7:59*remaining Phaneuf was called to the box. Do the Kingís remember how to kill a penalty? No, they donít, as it turns out. Forbert did his best to play goalie – the second time Iíd seen that period where someone bailed Quick out when he left a fat rebound open – but moments later Quick hadnít quite recovered his position, and sure enough, puck in the back of the net. This was particularly concerning as the Kings were 1-14-1 when their opponent scores first going into the game. Newbie to the team Leipsic didnít waste too much time tying the game up, with a stunning snipe less than 2 minutes later. Momentum swung back to the Kingís, who evened up the shots, and the score, by the end of the first.

If you thought the first period was exciting, oh just wait for the second. Which just goes to show not all excitement is good. (But most of it is.) The Devils scored on their first shot of the period, 25 seconds in. So thereís that. On their heels, it took the Kingís almost 6 minutes to register even a shot. A minute later Kempe had tied the game. He took an incredibly well-placed cross-crease pass from Doughty and had a wide open net to shoot into. But, this being the worst season ever and all, it didnít last long. 4 minutes later Palmieri scores. Then 2 minutes later Butcher did. And they were both *awful* goals to give up. Palmieri was covered by Muzzin and should never have been able to take the shot. Quick should have had the shot. Then, on the second (well fourth really) he was rattled, shoved the puck out of his crease not to a King but to Butcher who shoved it right back behind him. It was not Quickís finest hour. Then came a very odd moment where the Kings maybe got a goal? But maybe they didnít? The play continued, then the light went off, then things kind of fizzled out in the confusion… finally the refs stopped play and went to Toronto, only to conclude that the puck didnít actually cross the goal line. Man, the Kingís really could have used a goal there! They got lucky when Doughty went to the box for slashing that Hischier did too for embellishment. With all that open ice Toffoli had a super fast breakaway but as usual this season couldnít get that snipe placed well enough. Finally, karma came down on the Kings side, when Kinkaid did exactly what Quick did on the fourth goal against, and poked the puck away to Clifford who poked it straight back past him. They followed up with some heavy hits, hoping perhaps to smash them into oblivion so they couldnít defend anymore?

After killing off the remaining 36 seconds of a Carter interference penalty from the end of the second, the Kings were off to a super boring third period. They lost whatever structure theyíd been playing with, seemed unable to generate offense (shocking I know!) and once more seemed to be skating around in circles with no real purpose. Even a power play 7:52 in was as disappointing as weíve come to expect from the second worst power play in the league. It slipped to 14% (the only one worse is Chicago at 11.5%. The Kings tie the third worst in the league with Chicago as well, at 73.3%.) Another fun fact? The Kings have the worst goals for per game in the league at 2.1 per game. 20 of their 29 games theyíve scored 2 or less, and in all 14 games that they entered the third period down, they have lost the game. No comeback Kings this season. Nope, after the power play Hall came out of the box to assist on the Devils fifth goal. An empty net sealed the deal – I donít know why they insist on pulling him without having any strategy behind having a sixth attacker. The Kings were 4-8-1 with Stevens; they are now 6-10-0 under Desjardins. Iím not saying that Stevens was the right coach for this team right now, but I donít see Desjardins doing any better.

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