-- Getting only one point instead of two has put the Kings in a difficult spot. When teams have played an identical number of games, the first tiebreaker to separate them is the greater number of wins they’ve earned in regulation and overtime.
The Kings and Calgary Flames are even in games; the Kings trail the Flames by only one point, 76-75, but Calgary has three more regulation and overtime wins, 32-29. That’s a lot to make up. The Kings trail Winnipeg for the second wild card spot, 78-75, and the Kings have a game in hand but they’re in a situation where they’re now depending on help from other teams. That’s not impossible but it’s never ideal.
“It helps us but these are the tight games that you’ve got to win,” defenseman Matt Greene said of earning only one point Saturday instead of two. “At this time of the year you’ve got to win the one-goal games. We’ve got to find a way to do that. We’re chasing teams right now.”
-- It’s a good thing the Kings don’t have to face the Penguins again this season.
In two games against them, the Kings were shut out, 3-0, at Pittsburgh on Oct. 30 and by a 1-0 count Saturday night. That’s 71 shots they took on Marc-Andre Fleury and failed to score.
-- Did we mention that it’s going to be tough for the Kings to get back into a playoff position?
They planned to take Sunday off before practicing on Monday and then traveling for games Tuesday at Colorado and Thursday at Vancouver. They’re merely 10-14-6 on the road this season, though they did win their last road game, March 3 at Edmonton.
Defenseman Alec Martinez (concussion) and left wing Tanner Pearson (broken leg) have skated lightly but neither is close to returning soon to rescue the team. And Calgary and Winnipeg, which seemed like they might not be able to sustain a good enough level of play to retain a playoff spot, have both played well despite losing key players to injuries.
The Kings have overcome tough odds to make strong comebacks before, and they’re going to have to do it again.