LOS ANGELES – The Kings struggled to find any rhythm in their game in a 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at STAPLES Center.
After recording only nine shots through the first two periods of play, the Kings failed to connect on three consecutive power play opportunities to open the third. They finished the night with 15 shots – all of which Vancouver’s Ryan Miller stopped, less than 24 hours after he pitched a 28-save performance in Anaheim.
“We are not doing what we need to do in order to win,” defenseman Alec Martinez said following the loss. “We are not winning battles in tough areas, we are not good enough in our own end, and we are not capitalizing on chances. We are not playing with a sense of urgency.”
Rotation to the Kings’ forward lines didn’t seem to be of much help, as Dustin Brown rejoined the first line, Milan Lucic slipped to the second, while Andy Andreoff swapped back in for Jordan Weal on the fourth.
Lucic had the Kings’ best scoring opportunity at even strength in the second period while on the tail-end of a breakaway, but opted for a pass attempt to Tyler Toffoli, who was closely defended by two Canucks.
Lucic also provided the most entertaining moment for the Kings Tuesday night, when he flipped Drew Doughty's mishandled stick back to the defenseman mid-play.
Starting the season with a string of three consecutive losses, the Kings’ offense has been anemic; the club has been outscored 12-2 to being the campaign, with only one even-strength goal to their name – which came less than two minutes into the first game.
“I thought he was really strong in the first period,” Darryl Sutter said of Lucic following the loss. “He tried to be forceful. I think he had two or three good looks. He should have shot on the breakaway.”
Jonathan Quick arguably played his best game of the season thus far; making 25 saves on 27 shots – keeping the Kings within reach for almost the entirety of Tuesday night’s contest.
Quick stoned Vancouver’s Radim Vrbata midway through the second when the Canucks were working with a 5-on-3 man advantage.
With just under two minutes to play in the second, Quick kept the Kings in the game heading into the third when he got a glove on Jannik Hansen’s breakaway bid.
Four players tied for the team-lead in shots taken (2), Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown led the roster in hits delivered (4), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:26).
POST-GAME – ANZE KOPITAR
POST-GAME – DARRYL SUTTER
The Kings are now 0-3-0 on the season; they’ll continue their five-game home stand Friday night when they host the Minnesota Wild at STAPLES Center at 7:30PM PST.