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Hockey

What we learned from Kings’ 5-4 shootout loss to Canadiens

Nic Dowd, Carey Price
Kings center Nic Dowd shoots the puck as Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price defends during a Dec. 4 game at Staples Center.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Kings traded scoring punches with the Montreal Canadiens for a good portion of Sunday’s contest. The problem is that is exactly what they don’t want to be doing. 

While the Kings’ offense kept up, their defense let them down in a 5-4 shootout loss at Staples Center.

Here’s what we learned:

Overtime magic didn’t appear

The Kings were 5-0 in games that end in overtime this season, a sign that their skilled players are as good as any in the NHL in the three-on-three format.

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But they spent much of Sunday’s overtime chasing Montreal and killing a penalty in the extra session. Canadiens wing Max Pacioretty nearly got a game-winning hat trick goal when he clanked the puck off the post.

Anze Kopitar is fully back

Kopitar turned in another strong game, with three assists, and he won 18 of 25 faceoffs. This occurred after Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said he liked Kopitar’s complete game against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. It appears Kopitar is fully recovered from an apparent hand or wrist injury that kept him out of five games last month.

Secondary scoring is there

First, Jordan Nolan had a two-goal game against the Coyotes. Then the Kings got goals from Nick Shore and Trevor Lewis on Sunday. Lewis has a two-goal scoring streak.

Though the Kings didn’t win, it’s a welcome sign that their grinders are contributing offensively.

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