Kings are looking to regroup during Olympic break

Brent Seabrook, Kyle Clifford
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, bottom, battles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford during the Kings’ 1-0 loss on Dec. 30. The Kings hope to break out of their slump with a win over the defending Stanley Cup champions Monday.
(Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

String together the Kings’ offensive output from their last six games and it looks like a line of binary code: 0 1 0 1 0 1.

Add it up and you get six games, three goals and five losses, the depths of a skid in which the team has dropped eight of its last nine games. And the Kings have only two games left to hit the escape button and get themselves back on track before the 19-day Olympic break.

“We can’t wait for that day to come,” defenseman Drew Doughty said. “We’ve got to make that day happen.”

The first opportunity comes Monday at Staples Center against the division-leading Chicago Blackhawks, who have lost five of their last six games.

The Kings played well Saturday, getting 35 shots on goal. But none of them found the back of the net in a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia. Still, Coach Darryl Sutter said he saw some positive signs.

“I’m concerned because we haven’t scored. I’m not concerned about how we’ve played,” said Sutter, who kept most of the team off the ice for weightlifting and other conditioning Sunday .

Center Trevor Lewis dug a little deeper for his positive spin, saying the rough patch will wind up having a positive influence on the team.

“It’s a little adversity on us, but it will definitely make us stronger,” he said. “We’ll be better once we get through it.”

Doughty, however, said the team needs to show a little urgency in its efforts toward turning things around.

“We can’t wait,” he said. “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve just got to get the ball rolling. And what better way to start it than against Chicago.”

Super Bowl bonding

Most of the Kings gathered at a teammate’s home in the South Bay to watch the Super Bowl and try to take their minds off their on-ice slump.

“I think it helps just that all the guys will be together,” Lewis said. “It will kind of loosen things up; get together and hopefully come out of this thing stronger.”

Alec Martinez’s elbow is improving

Defenseman Alec Martinez was one of only seven players who skated Sunday, going through a fast-paced 40-minute workout.

Martinez hasn’t played since Jan. 25 because of an elbow injury and may not come back before the break. But he said he’s making progress in his comeback.

“I don’t really have a timetable for you,” he said. “I just do what the doctors tell me to do.”



When: 7:30.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 1150.

Etc.: No team has played more games than the Blackhawks and no team has scored more often than Chicago, which is averaging 3.5 goals per game. Not surprisingly, the Blackhawks have two of the NHL’s top nine scorers in wingers Patrick Kane (25 goals, 60 points) and Patrick Sharp (28, 27). For the Blackhawks, who beat the Kings twice in Chicago in December, Monday’s game marks their only visit to Staples Center this season. The Kings have won only two of their last seven home games with the Blackhawks.

Twitter: @kbaxter11