Kings 3-1 loss to New York Rangers compounded by error

This one evoked shades of his blunder in St. Louis last season and an earlier miscue against the Phoenix Coyotes.

But Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's epic gaffe and own-goal against the visiting New York Rangers in the home opener at Staples Center was far more unsightly than those twin mishaps.

The best thing that could be said about Monday night's error in the Rangers' 3-1 win was that it didn't occur in the playoffs as the other two did.


It happened at 4:39 of the third period and drained the energy out of the building and silenced the proceedings. With the Kings on the power play, there was a draw in the circle to the left of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

New York center Brian Boyle won the faceoff, and Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, alongside Boyle, shot the puck off the boards in the far end, and it ricocheted toward the net and a stumbling Quick, who lost his stick.

The puck went in off Quick and oh-so-slowly trickled in, even glancing in off the far post to make it 3-1.

Kids … don't try this at home.

A devastated Quick leaned on the back of the net, in apparent disbelief and anger. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter watched the replay on the large scoreboard without expression.

Quick was annoyed by questions about the play afterward.

"You guys are writing a story on that one goal?" he asked. "My stick fell out of my hand. I tried to stop it with my blocker and it hit my blocker."

Adding injury to … well, injury, the crowd gave Quick a sarcastic mock cheer when he made a stop off an ordinary dump-in shortly thereafter. For all of his lights-out athletic ability, these stick-handling adventures happen to him more often that you would expect.

Kings forward Justin Williams, asked if he was angry at fans' mock cheer, said: "Certainly. Nobody wanted to get a 4-3 win more than everyone on that bench right there, for that. But stuff like that happens within a game."

None of the Kings' woes on an error-riddled night could be blamed on the Stanley Cup-banner raising ceremony, the way they were in last season's home opener.

After all, isn't there a statute of limitations on the Stanley Cup hangover?

But the Kings were curiously flat at the start of the home opener and didn't seem to find a spark until falling behind 2-0.

The lone goal came from Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin, who cut the Rangers' lead to 2-1 at 12:11 of the second period, taking a feed from center Mike Richards' second effort.

Somehow, the Kings have fallen into a disturbing early pattern, just three games into the season. The on-switch seems to flip when they fall behind. It happened in Minnesota when they trailed 2-1 late and went on to win in a shootout, and they only seemed to regain a spark in Winnipeg when they fell behind by three goals.

Leading the Rangers on Monday was forward Brad Richards, who scored twice, set up both times by linemate, left wing Rick Nash, once in the first period and again in the second.

Kings fans will certainly remember Brad Richards. The courtship of Brad Richards dominated the summer of 2011, in which the Kings' organization dispatched a high-powered group to Toronto to woo the prized free agent.

All that was missing from the pitch from the eight-person delegation was David Beckham.

But Richards opted to stay closer to home in the East and signed with the Rangers, and after a rough go, it appears he is getting a good crack at a fresh start with new Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault.

Twitter: @reallisa