The Kings had the Nashville Predators right where they wanted them, right?
Down by three goals in the third period, the Kings scrapped and stormed their way to a standings point in a 4-3 overtime loss Saturday. It goes down as an overtime loss, but the Kings are still 5-0-2 at home, and coach John Stevens liked the way his team responded. There were some interesting turns on the way, both good and bad.
Here’s what we learned:
The Kings’ overtime magic didn’t materialize. Since the start of the three-on-three overtime format in the 2015-16 season, the Kings lead the NHL with 25 wins in the extra session.
It looked like they would add to that late on effective shifts by Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar, but Nashville jumped on a turnover to spring Viktor Arvidsson for a breakaway game winner.
“Losing sucks, to be honest with you,” Stevens said. “There’s no other way to say it. You want to get two points. That’s a regulation win, too … you don’t like to see that away from you. I guess at the end of the day, you can be happy with the point because it didn’t look like we were going to get one, but I flat-out don’t like losing.”
Those scouting reports work. The Kings noticed that Nashville goalie Juuse Saros was coming out of his net. His Predators’ teammate Pekka Rinne, one of the best puck-handling goalies in the NHL, is known to do that as well.
Christian Folin exploited that with a fake dump-in shot on net for the Kings’ second goal. Folin said it was discussed beforehand.
“[Assistant coach] Dave Lowry talked about it in the second period,” Folin said. “You got to fire the puck to the net because the goalie was coming out to play … he was obviously cheating, otherwise it wouldn’t have gone in, but I’ll take it.”
Saros told the Tennessean, “I’ve actually seen a couple guys score like that. I always thought it’s not going to happen to me.”
Drew Doughty needs to harness his passion. That’s a nice way of saying that Doughty would probably be better served not yapping at the officials as much as he does.
Doughty was frustrated early because of an apparent trip that wasn’t called, and he was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second period for what looked like complaining.
Nashville did not score on the power play, but an important player like Doughty can’t take himself out of games for such frivolous reasons. His joy for the game is pure fun to watch, but he’s developed a reputation as a player that pops off frequently, and officials have followed suit.
Follow Curtis Zupke on Twitter @curtiszupke