What we learned from the Kings 3-2 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
Some additional observations on Game 2 for the Kings, in which they squandered a two-goal lead and ended up losing in overtime at Gila River Arena … the building formerly known as Jobing.com Arena.
Chemistry is an elusive thing
Perhaps it had something to do with Marian Gaborik missing the latter part of training camp because of an undisclosed injury. But there have only been flickers of the usual chemistry between linemates Gaborik and center Anze Kopitar.
They played Game 1 with Dustin Brown. Then Kings Coach Darryl Sutter tweaked things and put Justin Williams with Kopitar and Gaborik in Game 2. Gaborik and Kopitar combined for no shots on goal in the loss to the Coyotes.
Last season, Kopitar had two goals the first month of the season and added 11 assists. As Sutter noted, “He (Kopitar) can play better and he will play better.”
Penalty-killing woes surfacing early
The Kings have allowed three power-play goals in their first two games, and two against the Coyotes, including the game-winner in overtime.
Against Arizona, the trio of defensemen Matt Greene and Robyn Regehr and center Jarret Stoll did the heavy lifting in overtime and had nearly killed off the hooking penalty to Tyler Toffoli when Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored with 14 seconds remaining.
Greene owned it afterward, speaking about his inability to clear the puck out of the zone on two occasions leading to Arizona power-play goals.
Ekman-Larsson, incidentally, had eight shots on goal, overall.
Tyler and Tanner Show comes to the regular season
These kids are more than all right.
The abilities of youngsters Toffoli and Tanner Pearson were on full display in the playoffs last year. They have speed, talent and creativity and, along with veteran center Jeff Carter, they were among the few bright spots on Saturday.
Pearson had a sensational first period, with a goal, and Toffoli, who assisted on Carter’s goal, came close to giving the Kings the victory, in the final seconds of regulation.
Get ready to hear plenty of talk about Pearson as a viable candidate for the Calder Trophy. He played 25 games last season for the Kings, which means he just remains eligible for consideration for rookie of the year this season.