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What we learned from the Kings’ 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks

Kings' Kyle Clifford gets knocked to the ice by Vancouver's Luca Sbisa, right, with Derek Dorsett watching on Tuesday night.

Kings’ Kyle Clifford gets knocked to the ice by Vancouver’s Luca Sbisa, right, with Derek Dorsett watching on Tuesday night.

(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Once it had looked like a favorable, home-heavy schedule for the Kings to start the regular season. One week in: Three home games and three regulation losses against divisional rivals.

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter in his postgame session with reporters said he was most concerned about the play of the team’s top-end players and talked about a need for “urgency.”

“Didn’t have many touches in the offensive zone,” Sutter said. “A lot of that is fighting through checks, and second and third efforts. Tonight, they didn’t.”

In the lockout-shortened season, in 2012-2013, the Kings failed to get a win in regulation until Game 4, but one of the three losses was in overtime, meaning one point in the standings.

Speaking of history … there are a few other takeaways in the aftermath of a dismal performance.

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Record books will need a workout

The Kings have scored two goals in three games to start the season, just one at even strength, the other one shorthanded.

They lost their first three games -- all on the road -- in regulation in 1969-70, scoring a combined three goals in losses to Montreal, St. Louis and Oakland. That team won 14 games and finished with 38 points.

So, is it too early for a trip down memory lane with Butch Goring?

Power-play woes deepen

Trailing 2-0, the Kings failed to take advantage of their chance to get back into it when the Canucks were assessed three minors in the third period.

On the first power play, the Canucks had as many shots on goal (one) as the Kings did. They mustered one shot on the second power play and were outshot, 1-0, by the Canucks on the third.

Marian Gaborik’s noticeable lack of impact

Gaborik, along with the first line, looked flat in the season opener. But while his center, Anze Kopitar, can rely on doing his usual thing, responsible two-way play, Gaborik has been close to a non-factor, especially on Tuesday.

He has no points in three games. Gaborik was back on his preferred side, left wing, for the Canucks game and had two shots on goal and two giveaways. His ice time was 14 minutes, 34 seconds and 11:46 at even strength.


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