What we learned from the Kings’ 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild

A few takeaways following the Kingsthird loss in three games, mirroring, in some ways, their start to last season in which they also lost their opening three games.

Goaltending an increasing concern

Goaldtending was always going to be an issue for the Kings after No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick was injured late in the first period of the season opener Oct. 12 in San Jose. A week later, it’s only more pronounced.

Kings goalie Jeff Zatkoff was pulled after two periods, making 11 saves and allowing five goals. Minnesota scored its first two goals from almost the same spot. The clear thing to do was to keep shooting, not always a given with the pass-first mentality of some players.

“All I know is that if I was playing, I’d shoot from everywhere,” Minnesota Coach Bruce Boudreau said in his post-game news conference. “When you know you’ve got a goalie that’s a bit rattled, you’ve got to get pucks at the net.”

Room for error shrinking, fast

Statistics only tell part of the story. One example: The Kings held the edge in faceoffs, winning 52%, overall. But the Wild scored twice shortly after winning two faceoffs — a pet peeve of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter. A pet peeve of any coach, really.

“We’re just not playing good enough hockey,” said Kings captain Anze Kopitar. “We’re going to have to come back to work tomorrow and clean it up. We’re giving up four and six goals. That’s not going to cut it.”

Penalty-killing helped turn the tide for the Wild

The Kings had an ideal opportunity to get back into it when they were trailing 2-1. They held a five-on-three man advantage of 49 seconds but were unable to capitalize.

Minnesota killed off all five Kings’ power plays. The Wild is one of three teams in the league with a flawless penalty killing effort heading into Wednesday night's action. Florida and Arizona are the other two teams.

The Wild has killed off 11 power plays in three games.

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