LOS ANGELES – A lone penalty, a careless spin and a blocked attempt that resulted in a goal by an unsophisticated player out of the box were among the blunders that tarnished the performance. Kings effort in a 4-1 loss to Colorado Avalanche on Thursday Night at Crypto.com Arena.
The Kings took down Colorado favorably, 41-27, but their game defeat resulted in a failed defeat. Colorado played the second game in as many nights, spending minutes of caution and deploying players for short shifts while taking five penalties.
“When you talk about mistakes, usually they’re in your net and of course we made a pair,” said Kings coach Todd McLellan. “The difference right now is the team there capitalizing on them, where we have four or five more chances.”
Center Anze Kopitar scored the King’s goal, while Jonathan Quick saved 23 of 26 shots for a second straight loss and a third in his last four appearances.
Wingers Mikko Rantanen, Kiefer Sherwood and Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored for Colorado. Rantanen added an assist to defender Devon Toews’ goal, the Toews’ 28th point in 27 games. Center Nathan MacKinnon contributed two assists. Darcy Kuemper overcame a fear after he hit a header in Monday’s win over the Minnesota Wild. He made 40 saves on Thursday, nearly earning a match in less than 24 hours after backup Pavel Francouz made a save against the Ducks.
Colorado has won 15 of its last 17 games and has now won eight of its last nine encounters with the Kings over two seasons.
“I think this is a real game, last year at the end of the year it wasn’t a real game when we played them. But we don’t have as many pieces of the puzzle as we do now,” McLellan said.
At 1:35, a quick MacKinnon catch and a quick Rantanen pass to Toews resulted in an empty net, putting the game in the fridge for Colorado.
Colorado’s third goal, just over four minutes into the third inning, is the symbol of the game. At the end of a power play, defender Sean Durzi was blocked from his shot by JT Compher forward, starting the transition for Avalanche. Winger Logan O’Connor collects the penalty and sends it forward to Aube-Kubel, who just finished taking his own. His breakaway goals have kept Avs breathing.
“The break between the second and third innings (the period) didn’t help us, it certainly helped them and they regrouped,” McLellan said. “Then the third goal really took away a lot from us because it was at the end of the power game. People were screaming and shouting, but we had no cover and probably weren’t making the best decisions. ”
Kings were threatened in the second period, which included a whirlwind effort from winger Trevor Moore that set off a dangerous string. They provided a 34-15 advantage on shots on target in the second half, but they were also 2-1 down.
Just before the second half started 9 minutes, the kings took the lead with a powerful goal. Defender Drew Doughty’s finish created a rebound that winger Alex Iafallo lay on before delivering a watchful pass to Kopitar, who cushioned the ball into the back of the net to score his 13th goal of the season. . Kopitar has had four goals and seven points in the last six matches.
Just over three minutes into the second half, Colorado scored the second of eight attempts into the net of a gift bla bla. Kings winger Brendan Lemieux sent a blinding backhand pass through the spray wall into the slot, where Sherwood scored his first goal of the season.
“We could call it a play of hope. (Lemieux) probably wants to have that back,” McLellan said.
The Kings beat Avalanche 7-1 to start the game, but Colorado attacked first, just before the midpoint of the first half. Kings winger Carl Grundstrom, who played his first game since January 1, took the Kings’ only penalty and the Avs capitalized on their unique power play.
Five players averaging more than one point per night were on the field together when defender Cale Makar’s touch generated MacKinnon’s eye-catching shot from above in the area Rantanen tipped home. It was Rantanen’s 21st goal of the season and his fifth in as many games.
In their last three games, the Kings are taking penalties by a small 43 percent, allowing four goals over seven power play opportunities. The Kings have conceded the sixth least number of goals in the NHL on an even level, but they possess the fourth-lowest penalty kick percentage of the league.
“I don’t have an explanation or we’ve worked it out a long time ago,” McLellan said.
Center Quinton Byfield, 2nd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft his regular season debut. Faithful due to a broken ankle, then relegation to the minors and then stymied by COVID protocols, the 19-year-old Byfield played his seventh NHL game. He scored three shots on goal, including a solid chance just before Colorado’s second goal.
“We talked about the explosiveness in his feet, the timing and the comfort with the ball,” says McLellan. “He showed all of that today, a lot more than last year when he was in those six games.”
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/20/kings-cant-overcome-miscues-against-avalanche/ Kings who cannot overcome hardship before Avalanche – San Bernardino Sun