Kings captain Dustin Brown took the decidedly captain-like view of the team’s upcoming rematch with the St. Louis Blues.
The Kings face St. Louis at Staples Center on Thursday, two nights after suffering a third-period collapse in which they gave up four goals in a 5-2 loss to the Blues.
“I think if you’re not excited about playing tomorrow, after what happened in St. Louis, then we have bigger issues,” Brown said after practice Wednesday.
“For me, I’m excited that we get to play them again. Especially the way they beat us and how the third period transpired last game. Like I said, if you’re not excited to play them again, there’s bigger issues.”
Forward Justin Williams had the same mind-set Tuesday.
“The good thing is that we get to play them again,” he said. “A chance for redemption.”
The Kings gave up five consecutive goals after taking a 2-0 lead. Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock noticed the change in his team in the third period.
“When we play reckless, we’re a better team,” he said Wednesday. “We don’t play well when we play conservative or careful. We need to play reckless to be effective.”
The Kings finished the five-game trip 1-3-1. Their victory came against Ottawa. They were outscored, 18-12, on the trip, which does not include Toronto’s shootout goal.
“Going into last night, we wanted to come back with being .500, so that was disappointing last night,” Coach Darryl Sutter said. “Our penalty killing clearly let us down at key times. If you just capsulized last night, we played a really good game and in three shifts, we lost the game.”
The Kings have struggled away from Staples Center. They are 4-7-5 on the road, beating Dallas, Minnesota, Arizona and Ottawa.
“Two years ago, this team couldn’t play on the road, either, if you look at it,” Sutter said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh this team’s historically been so good on the road.’ Well that’s not really true when you look at it.
“Home and road last year were the same and the year before, the lockout year, was a tough road thing for us.”
Forward Jeff Carter, an important component of the Kings’ early success, has chilled since October. He has two assists in the last 10 games, including one Tuesday, and is without a goal in the last 13.
“He hasn’t scored a goal for a month tomorrow,” Sutter said of Carter.
That settled in during a lengthy pause.
“November 18th. I have it all marked down.”
St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz will be week to week because of an injury believed to be a broken foot, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
He was injured with a little more than seven minutes left the first period, apparently when he blocked a shot by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. But Schwartz finished the game and had a goal and an assist in the third-period comeback.
KINGS VS. BLUES
When: 7:30, Thursday.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.
Etc.: Goalie legend Martin Brodeur, who was signed by the Blues on Dec. 2 to a one-year contract, is scheduled to start against the Kings. Brodeur, 42, played 21 seasons for the New Jersey Devils.