The search for much-needed momentum -- well, any momentum -- did not go well for the Kings at San Jose on Wednesday night as they lost 4-2 to the Sharks for the second time in three meetings.
Here's what we learned from another road loss.
Losing another chance to move up in the standings
The Flames haven’t produced many clunkers but they finally lost one on the road for the first time in six games, at Anaheim. But the Kings couldn’t take advantage of the chance to leap past Calgary to settle in a playoff spot before the All-Star break.
“It’s definitely disappointing where we are in the standings right now,” said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who had two assists. “I think these four, five days we’ve got to figure that out. It’s time to play desperate when we come back out of the break.”
The break could be coming at the right time for the Kings.
Said Kings Coach Darryl Sutter: “We’ve got some guys that got to heal up whether that’s enough time or not. The guys that didn’t play tonight, not guys that did. Hopefully that will help Tyler [Toffoli]. Other than that, everybody gets the same break. It’s not an advantage to anybody.”
Penalty-killing still faltering
They have been struggling in this department. New Jersey scored two power-play goals against the Kings on Jan. 14 and the New York Rangers scored two against them on Jan. 8.
The Sharks went two for three on the man advantage, which was the first time they’ve scored two power-play goals in a game since Dec. 4.
“You can’t afford to give up two power-play goals against and expect to win too many games, especially on the road,” Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said. It’s a tough hole to dig yourself out of when that happens.”
Drew Doughty getting angry … again
The sight of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty heading to the penalty box is becoming familiar. Twice he took minor penalties and twice the Sharks scored.
It’s more problematic because he happens to be one of the Kings’ best penalty-killers, on top of everything else.
“Obviously you can’t have one of your best players in the penalty box,” Sutter said. “That’s going to happen. There’s nobody that goes penalty free but when one of your best players is in the penalty box… I guess when it happens in successive games, then it’s an issue.”