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Three keys to Kings’ 4-3 loss to Sharks in Game 1

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez gets an eye-level view of the puck against the Sharks in the second period.

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez gets an eye-level view of the puck against the Sharks in the second period.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Sharks were able to pull out a back-and-forth, 4-3, contest over the Kings in Game 1 at Staples Center Thursday night. Here’s three keys to how the game played out:

1) Faceoffs: The Kings gave up two goals right off faceoffs. It That is a particular irritant to Kings Coach Darryl Sutter and he brought it up more than once in his postgame news conference.

2) Defense depth: The Kings dropped down to five defensemen in the third period. Defenseman Alec Martinez, who was out the final four games of the regular season, did not play after the second period, logging just under 12 minutes of time.

3) Kopitar lapse: Kings center Anze Kopitar, a Selke Trophy candidate, lost his check on the winning goal, scored by the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski. And before that, he lost the draw to Pavelski, leading to the scoring sequence.

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