The Kings were victimized, again, by the Coyotes, who seem to be settling in nicely against Southern California foes this season. Arizona has swept the host Ducks and the Kings, twice, already. A few more takeaways on a night when the Kings held a classy pregame ceremony to honor their legendary radio play-by-play man, Nick Nickson:
Counting with Darryl
"Soft" was the buzzword of the night, in terms of defensive zone coverage.
"I think we were soft on two or three goals against," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said.
He amended that, adding: "All three goals against. They only scored three."
No silver linings in Sutter's world
Kings captain Dustin Brown finally scored, breaking through for his first goal in 15 games.
In fact, it was his first goal since April 2 of last season. Brown went goalless the final five games of the season and managed a single goal in the last 25 games.
Maybe that's why Sutter wasn't sounding overly wowed.
"Hopefully he remembers how he did it," Sutter said. "He's got to play a power game. I'm not sure that was part of his game tonight. The goal didn't mean nothing in the end."
Inability to put the game away
Brown kept coming back to the words "killer instinct." Ahead 2-1, the Kings played some of the best hockey and had opportunities to expand their lead.
The Coyotes survived that brief flurry, tied it in the second and got the game-winner in the third. Instead of one of their promising flashy youngsters, it was a veteran getting the winner, former King Brad Richardson.
"They've got some pretty skill up front that can score goals," Kings left wing Tanner Pearson said. "They capitalized on their chances. I don't think we were able to capitalize on ours."
Richardson told reporters in the Coyotes' dressing room: "I played with them for five years and it's just a heavy game. It's all below the dots, working it. … We let them play that way in first and they took it to us, but then we had a little bit of composure and started making the plays and we got them on their heels a little bit."