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Kings blanked by Capitals

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

It was a rather frustrating evening for the Kings, who were shut out for the fifth time this season in a 4-0 loss to the Washington Capitals Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

For the Kings, it was their first loss to the Capitals in eight meetings, dating back to February of 2007. The Verizon Center, until Tuesday night, had always been particularly friendly to the Kings – they came into the evening with a 7-1-2 record at Washington’s home arena since the building opened in 1997.

The road woes continue for the Kings, who are 5-11-6 away from STAPLES Center this season. Their road record is currently ranked 28th in the NHL. The Kings have had extreme difficulties finding success in opposing building this season.

“We, as a group of guys, need to find more emotion in our game,” Dustin Brown said following the loss. “It’s really hard to play and win in this league if you don’t have the emotion. You can talk X’s and O’s and all that, you could do everything right, but if you don’t have the emotion to play the game it’s going to be hard to win.”

Jonathan Quick’s stellar goaltending early in the game was the only thing that kept the Kings within striking distance through the first 40 minutes of play. Quick turned away numerous opportunities in the first period, finally surrendering a goal on Washington’s 12th shot of the night with under three minutes to play in the opening frame.

Washington upped their lead to two late in the second period on their third power play of the night.

The Capitals were quick to dismiss the Kings’ chances in the third period, scoring a pair of goals in a 59-second span to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Kings pumped up the desperation late, registering 14 third period shots, but they were unable to beat Braden Holtby, who stopped all 27 Kings shots in his first-ever appearance against Los Angeles.

With only one combined goal scored on the road trip so far, the Kings desperately need to figure out their offensive struggles in opposing buildings. The Kings’ two leading scorers, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, each have a lowly two goals and five assists in 22 games away from Los Angeles this season.

Drew Doughty led all Kings players in shots taken (4), Kyle Clifford in hits delivered (8), Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty, and Alec Martinez in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:24). Jonathan Quick made 23 saves in the loss.

With the loss, the Kings’ record dips to 21-17-12; their mark away from STAPLES Center drops to 5-11-6. The Kings are now 0-2-0 on their current five-game road trip, they’ll travel South to take on the Florida Panthers Thursday night at the BB&T Center. The puck is slated to drop at 4:30PM PT.

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