Kings ‘Just Bad’ in Loss to Leafs : Hockey: L.A. calls 25-minute meeting after Toronto scores four in a row against Hrudey for a 5-2 victory.
Wayne Gretzky had a succinct analysis after the Kings surrendered four consecutive goals in the second and third periods of a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night before a booing sellout crowd of 16,005 at the Forum.
“I’ve run out of answers to give you guys,” Gretzky said. “We just played bad. You can use whatever word you want, we’re just bad right now.”
The Kings, 3-9-2 in their last 14 games, held a 25-minute team meeting after the game.
“I think it’s frustrating for everybody,” goalie Kelly Hrudey said. “There’s 25 frustrated players here, but it’s no excuse. We just have to find a way to battle through it.
“It’s pretty obvious that we’re not pleased with the way things are going and a lot of people expressed how they felt. We were honest with each other and that’s a step in the right direction.”
Who called the meeting?
“Probably 25 angry guys,” Hrudey said. “I think the good thing about tonight’s meeting is that we finally talked about it. We’ve been angry for a long time, but we never discussed it. We kept painting a pretty picture and we kept looking at the world through rose-colored glasses and it’s not that way right now.”
Toronto extended its unbeaten streak to nine games (8-0-1), its longest streak since 1975. The Maple Leafs (32-22-9) have already surpassed their 30 victories of last season and they have 73 points, six more than last season.
Rookie goalie Felix Potvin, the NHL leader in goals-against average (2.43) and save percentage (.911), made 25 saves.
Leading, 2-1, after the first period, the Kings collapsed in losing for the fourth time in five games.
Toronto center John Cullen tied it at 2-2 at 2:38 of the second period when he got his 18th goal of the season on a shot that went through Hrudey’s legs.
The Maple Leafs took the lead at 6:11 of the second period when defenseman Bob Rouse scored his third goal of the season off a drop pass from defenseman Dimitri Mironov.
Dave Andreychuk scored his 11th goal in 11 games since joining the Maple Leafs earlier this month from the Buffalo Sabres at 8:58 of the third period. Right wing Nikolai Borschevsky added one more at 15:54 of the third period.
Despite the slump, the Kings remained one point ahead of fourth-place Winnipeg and nine ahead of Edmonton in the Smythe Division.
After Toronto center Dave McLlwain scored off a pass from right wing Rob Pearson at 3:59 of the first period, the Kings scored twice in 42 seconds on their first two shots of the game.
Luc Robitaille tied it at 1-1 when he scored his 40th goal of the season on a power play off a pass from Darryl Sydor at 7:36. It’s the seventh consecutive season that Robitaille has scored at least 40 goals.
Center John McIntyre set up Warren Rychel’s goal at 8:18 with a nice pass from behind the net and Rychel slipped the puck through Potvin’s legs at 8:18 of the first period.
Kelly Hrudey drew his first two penalties of the season. He was called for roughing during the second period and high-sticking during the third. . . . Right wing Tomas Sandstrom skated Saturday for the first time since breaking his jaw om Jan. 28 against the Calgary Flames. Sandstrom, who returned from his home in Sweden on Thursday, won’t be allowed to practice until the wires are removed from his jaw. Right wing Dave Taylor, sidelined because of recurring symptoms of a previous concussion, also skated, but he won’t be cleared to play until the symptoms are gone. Defenseman Brent Thompson, sidelined because of an abdominal strain, and center Corey Millen (groin strain) also skated. . . . King right wing Marc Potvin got his first career assist on Warren Rychel’s first-period goal.