Kings' wild comeback against Predators doesn't lead to victory

Kings' wild comeback against Predators doesn't lead to victory
Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis, second right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the first period of a 7-6 overtime win over the Kings at Staples Center on Saturday. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The search for an alliterative way to describe the Kings' late and wild comeback against Nashville screeched to an abrupt halt in overtime.

About as fast as you can say Roman Josi.


The wow factor was still settling for fans at Staples Center — the high of the Kings erasing a three-goal deficit in the final 2:01 of regulation — when the Predators turned buzz killers.

Josi, the Predators defenseman, took full advantage of the time and space afforded him in the slot as both Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and forward Jeff Carter went to cover Predators rookie forward Filip Forsberg. Josi took the pass from Forsberg and beat Kings goalie Martin Jones on the stick side, just 18 seconds into overtime, to give Nashville a 7-6 win over the Kings on Saturday afternoon.

"I was a little surprised getting that much space in OT," Josi said. "I just walked down the slot and tried to pick a corner.

"It was definitely not the ending we planned. If you're up, 6-3, a couple of minutes to go, you want to win that game in regulation. Good job by our team staying with it. Still, we've got to do a better job at the end there."

This was a Throwback Kings afternoon.

Not in a good sense, either. They were defensively challenged throughout and were able to grab one point only with a late, unlikely scramble.

It says many things about the Kings' woes.

"We are falling behind too much," said Kings captain Dustin Brown.

Nashville led 5-1 and 6-3. The Kings tied it with three goals in the dizzying span of 1:27, from Dwight King, Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter, the latter two goals coming with Jones pulled.

King scored twice and has three goals in his last two games, and center Anze Kopitar had three assists. The other goals came from defensemen Matt Greene and Alec Martinez.

"We obviously didn't get the job done," Martinez said.

Said King: "Poor start. We gave them a lot of opportunities…. Nobody came in prepared to play a good team in our conference. They're right at the top, for a reason."

The numerous breakdowns are a continuing theme. Doughty and his partner Jake Muzzin were a combined minus-four. Thursday's game against the New York Rangers represents the halfway point of the season for the Kings. This was the first of a seven-game homestand, the opening opportunity to make up for a woeful road record.

"We're halfway through the year here," Martinez said. "And we've got to figure it out. We're not playing, obviously, to the best of our abilities. Nowhere even close. We've got to turn things around."

Nashville ripped through two Kings goalies: Starter Jonathan Quick and Jones. The seven goals are the most allowed by the Kings this season. They lost 6-2 at Montreal on Dec. 12, which was the last time Jones played.

Quick was pulled just 9:43 into the game after allowing three goals on nine shots as the Kings trailed 3-1. You have to flip through the record books to find a time when Quick was pulled so early from a game. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, in fact, said he doesn't like changing goalies in the middle of a period.

But he pulled Quick 5:49 into the game against Anaheim on Feb. 2 of the 2012-13 season after Quick gave up two goals on three shots.

"Any time we're giving up seven goals, we're not playing the way we want to play," Brown said. "We've got to figure it out individually, collectively. It's pretty much the halfway point of the year. We've been saying we need to be more consistent.

"We've got to stop talking about being more consistent and start being consistent."