Kings have no answer for Blues in loss

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

ST. LOUIS -- The Kings spent nearly a month away from Staples Center, which they had to vacate for the Grammy Awards.

Their time on the road was well-spent -- they went 4-3-1 and produced nine points, the best eight-game trip in franchise history -- but it ended on a down note Tuesday night with a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

“We showed some immaturity tonight, I think,” Coach Marc Crawford said. “It looked as though we seemed to be a little bit satisfied.”


The Kings last played at home on Jan. 12 and they return Friday to play the Calgary Flames.

The nine points equaled the second-best total in franchise history on any trip for the Kings, who are 9-5-1 in their last 15 games despite the loss Tuesday.

Players were ready to be home.

“We have [today],” goalie Jason LaBarbera said. “So it’ll be nice just to hang out at home and spend time with our families.”

Jay McKee scored the go-ahead goal for St. Louis with an aggressive play midway through the third period, tapping in his own rebound after rushing the net.

It was the first goal in 12 games from the Blues’ defense, mostly a collection of stay-at-home types whose season leader is rookie Erik Johnson with three goals.

“Look around at teams that are in the playoff hunt and they have defensemen that are jumping in and helping out,” McKee said. “That’s something we need to do a little bit more of, and it’s nice to chip in.”

Martin Rucinsky and Jay McClement each had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who ended a four-game losing streak and won for only the third time in 14 games. The Blues have won five straight against the Kings.

Alexander Frolov and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings.

Dean Lombardi, the Kings’ president and general manager, is expected to meet with defenseman Rob Blake today to discuss Blake’s future with the team.

Before the start of the Kings’ trip, Lombardi gave Blake a list of 10 teams that had expressed interest in acquiring him before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

“There are a lot of things involved in making this decision, and a lot he has to process,” Lombardi said from St. Louis before the game against the Blues.



* Carolina 3, at Boston 2: Andrew Ladd scored twice in the first 6:33 and the Hurricanes held on after Shawn Thornton had two goals in a 27-second span late in the third period.

* at Tampa Bay 3, Montreal 2: Vinny Prospal scored twice, including the go-ahead goal midway through the third period. Christopher Higgins and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who have lost three in a row. Montreal was outshot, 36-21.

* at N.Y. Islanders 4, Philadelphia 3: Trent Hunter scored a goal and set up two others for the Islanders, who hadn’t won at home in seven games and didn’t have a victory anywhere since a 6-3 victory at Carolina on Jan. 22.

* Buffalo 5, at Ottawa 1: Thomas Vanek scored three times for his first career hat trick. Ryan Miller made 25 saves for the Sabres, who are 7-0-2 since Jan. 21, when a 6-2 loss in Phoenix dropped them to 20-21-6.

* at Nashville 4, Detroit 2: Alexander Radulov scored two goals to lead the Predators. Martin Erat and J.P. Dumont scored for Nashville, which sent the Red Wings to their fourth loss in a row.

* at Edmonton 4, Minnesota 2: Kyle Brodziak scored twice and Mathieu Garon made 38 saves. Fernando Pisani and Jarret Stoll also scored for the Oilers, winners of three of four. Minnesota had its two-game winning streak end.

* Calgary 4, at San Jose 3 (OT): Dion Phaneuf scored the Flames’ tying goal during a two-man advantage with 49.8 seconds left in regulation and Jarome Iginla got the overtime winner with 24.9 seconds to play.

* Ducks 2, at Colorado 1: The Ducks broke a string of six consecutive regular-season losses at the Pepsi Center.

* at St. Louis 4, Kings 2: The Blues have won five in a row against the Kings.

From the Associated Press

*--* Ottawa at New Jersey, 4 p.m. Washington at Atlanta, 4 p.m. Chicago at Columbus, 4 p.m. Toronto at Buffalo, 4:30 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. Montreal at Florida, 4:30 p.m. *--*