At first blush it seemed like a good idea.
Starting this season each
But the R and R has mostly resulted in Ls, with just three of the first 13 teams to take their league-mandated vacation returning to the ice with a win. That’s a trend the
The Kings needed a while to get back into the swing of things, stumbling through an opening five minutes that saw Brendan Perlini and Tobias Rieder score 16 seconds apart to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead.
The first came with
Rieder doubled the lead seconds later, driving hard to the net at the goal line, then jamming the puck between goalie
Both goals would come back to haunt the Kings in the third period, when Tanner Pearson brought them back to life by knocking in a rebound for his 16th goal of the season.
That set off a five-minute flurry that saw Arizona’s Perlini and Jordan Martinook score, sandwiched around a Kings goal from
“He said he lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle,” Kings Coach
"We were coming back all the way through there. It was 2-0 going into the third, you still believe you're going to win," Sutter added, pounding a wooden podium in frustration and for emphasis.
Martinook and Pearson exchanged goals again in last 90 seconds — with Pearson's coming on a power play — to account for the final score. Lost in the wild finish was the fact the Kings have allowed 18 goals in their last four games, three of which they lost.
"It's just too many," captain Anze Kopitar said. "And the majority of them are coming off our mistakes. Pretty significant mistakes.
"And that's what's killing us right now. We've just got to play better."
Bye weeks, part of the NFL schedule since 1990, were adopted by the NHL this season in exchange for the players' support of changes in the All-Star game format. Yet judging from the early results, it appears the short breaks have left many teams unsettled.
The Florida Panthers gave up a season-high six goals to the Kings in their first post-vacation game last week and the
Judged by those standards, the Kings weren't bad Thursday. But they weren't good enough either.