A rough second period proved to be too much to overcome in the Kings’ 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators Monday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Kings suffered their first regulation loss in nine games, dating back to November 23, and are now 2-1-1 on their current six-game road trip.
A solid first period for the Kings produced a 1-0 lead when Jamie McBain fired home his second goal of the season with just over five minutes to play in the opening frame.
After digging the puck out from low in their own zone, Jeff Carter fed McBain, who surprising Ottawa’s defense by taking an aggressive approach on the transition, caught Carter’s feed upon entering the Senators’ zone, walked in and fired a slap shot past Craig Anderson from atop the right circle.
The Kings took that 1-0 lead into the second period, where things would quickly fall apart.
The Senators scored three goals in a 3:34 minute span to open the period, and added another with under six minutes to play in the middle frame to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
With just over two minutes to play in the second, the Kings got the fortune of a whacky bounce, where Tyler Toffoli buried his 12th goal of the season.
On the power play, Alec Martinez dumped the puck into Ottawa’s zone upon crossing the red-line. Martinez’s dump-in wrung around the left corner, ricochet off of a stanchion on the glass, popping out to Tyler Toffoli who was position right in front of Ottawa’s net. Craig Anderson, behind his net to play Martinez’s dump, left a wide open net for Toffoli to tap in an easy goal.
Midway through the third period, Jake Muzzin
got the Kings to within a goal, scoring his fourth goal of the season to make the game interesting.
Ottawa’s defense collapsed the the right side of their own zone after the Kings established possession, and Milan Lucic found Muzzin with a pass open atop the Seantors’ slot, who fired a shot through traffic beating Craig Anderson through the five-hole.
Two minutes later, Mika Zibanejad responded, giving the Senators a 5-3 lead.
The Kings pulled Jonathan Quick for an extra attacker during the final minutes of play, but to no avail.
Milan Lucic (2A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Jeff Carter in shots taken (8), Brayden McNabb in hits delivered (4), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (30:08). Jonathan Quick made 16 saves in the loss.
The Kings will continue their six-game road trip Thursday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 4:30 PM PST.