To summarize …
The Kings have played eight games and the calendar hasn’t even flipped from October to November. So far, they’ve lost their All-Star goalie for months, not weeks.
Their backup goalie got hurt during the morning skate and is on injured reserve. And a top-four defenseman looked to be in a world of hurt early in the third period and did not return. The last injury mishap occurred with Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb in their 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Saturday night.
With the Kings having to drop from six to five defensemen for most of the third period, the minutes were big for the others. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty logged nearly 30 minutes of ice time, and defensemen Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin were in excess of 20 minutes each.
The only update that Coach Darryl Sutter would provide on McNabb, who appeared to be injured in the shoulder-collarbone area, was that the defenseman would “be reevaluated tomorrow.” McNabb was in obvious pain on the ice after his collision with Blues defenseman Colton Parayko.
It was the Kings’ first loss in five games, following four consecutive overtime victories. For goalie Peter Budaj, it was his first defeat as a King, a stretch of five wins, four this season and one last season.
The lone goal was a textbook display of passing with Blues forward Jaden Schwartz the beneficiary, at 3 minutes 43 seconds of the third period. It started with Muzzin attempting to play the puck along the boards to Kings forward Trevor Lewis. Then the Blues line of Jori Lehtera-Vladimir Tara-senko-Schwartz took over with their skill.
“It’s a great play. I think their entire line touched the puck,” Budaj said. “He [Tarasenko] blindly passed to Lehtera and he blindly passed to Schwartz who had the empty net. It think it was great chemistry between those guys. Sometimes good players make a good play.”
Said Schwartz: “It was a huge play. Vladi made a nice pass to him. Him and Vladi sometimes, I think they don’t see me, but they still see me. It was a great play by them. It was nice to see it go in. ... I just got it off my stick as quick as I could. Don’t like thinking about it too much.
“I wanted to rip that one. I’ve had a few of those this year and missed. I was a little bit frustrated not to see them go in.’
It was the 12th career shutout for Jake Allen, who faced 27 shots. The Kings were 0 for 5 on the power play.
“We knew coming in, it was going to be a low-scoring game,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said. “It usually is with these guys. Our PK [penalty killing] was good tonight. Peter played really well. Like I said, we’ve got to find one on the power play.”
The Blues’ penalty killing was ranked second in the league coming into Saturday’s action.
“Over the course of the last three, four, five years, their penalty-killing seems like it’s always been strong,” Kopitar said.
“So we know what we’re going up against. In a game like this, you’ve got to find something, to put the puck in the net.”
Kings at Chicago
When: Sunday, 4 p.m. PDT.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.
Etc.: Kings defenseman Matt Greene, out of the lineup since the second game of the season, is on the trip and could play Sunday in Chicago. If McNabb is out for an extended period, defenseman Kevin Gravel, in the minors, could be an option. The Kings made their one and only visit to St. Louis this season, on Saturday. This will be their only trip to Chicago during the regular season as well.
Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter @reallisa