The Kings spotted their opponents a 2-0 lead. Again.
Then they rallied to make the game close. Again.
And then they lost. Again.
If it seems like the team is experiencing déjà vu all over again, that’s only one takeaway from Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers. Here are three others:
It’s tough to play from behind in the NHL.
According to LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen, the Kings have led for just under an hour of game time in their last five games, and been tied for just over 40 minutes.
But they’ve trailed for just over 200 minutes and allowed a first-period goal in all five games. They never led in the four losses.
“We chased the lead again,” Coach Darryl Sutter said. “You don’t want to be doing that all the time. It doesn’t work very well in this league.”
During that five-game span, the Kings have taken nearly 50 more shots on goal then they’ve allowed, yet they’ve been outscored, 21-11.
“We definitely had our chances,” forward Nick Shore said. “If we execute on a few of them, the game’s a little different.”
Only six teams in the league are averaging more shots per game than the Kings. Yet only six teams have scored fewer goals.
After falling behind Saturday, Sutter shook up his lines. But the comeback that inspired fell short. Again.
The Kings are powerless with the man advantage
The Kings were 0 for 3 on the power play against the Panthers and have just two power-play goals in their last 17 chances — and one of those goals came in the final 23 seconds of a loss to Arizona that had already been decided.
Their other special team is thriving, however. The Kings killed off two penalties against Florida and have allowed just one power-play goal in their last 31 chances dating back nearly a month. That leaves the penalty-kill ranked second-best in the Western Conference.
Calgary is doing more to keep the Kings in the playoff chase than L.A. is
Despite the Kings’ recent woes, they entered Sunday’s Freeway Faceoff in Anaheim just two points out of the conference’s final playoff berth. And for that you can thank the Calgary Flames, the team the Kings are chasing.
Although the Flames rescued a point Saturday by forcing overtime in a loss to Vancouver, they’ve won just once in regulation in their last five games. The Kings and Flames meet four times over the rest of the season, three times in Calgary. And that last statistic might be another break for the Kings, because the Flames’ 14 home losses entering Sunday were second-most in the NHL.