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Kings go cold in home stand finale, suffer 2-1 OT loss

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – The Kings struggled to find their game Saturday night, falling 2-1 in OT to the New Jersey Devils at STAPLES Center.

The first period proved to be the nagging factor in the team’s home stand finale, the Kings falling behind a minute into play while putting up just four shots during the opening frame.

“We didn’t have a very good first and we were kind of battling to get back into it at the end, and that team doesn’t really give up much,” said Dustin Brown. “We got a point out of it, but we lost a point probably because of our first period.”

If there was another downside to the Kings’ performance Saturday night, it points in the direction of their 0-5 success rate on the power play.

“I don’t think we were aggressive enough, I don’t think coming in the zone we set up the play as good as we wanted to, definitely didn’t get enough shots on it,” Kopitar said of the Kings’ power play. “I don’t know what the totals were, but it seemed like we didn’t get enough pucks to the net and create chances out there.”

Tyler Kennedy gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 1:12 minutes into the game after the Kings coughed up the puck deep in their own zone.

The Kings finally got on the board with just over five minutes left to play in the second when Anze Kopitar jammed home a rebound amidst a skirmish in front of New Jersey’s net.

Alec Martinez initiated the play when his slap shot from the point caromed off the back boards to Milan Lucic, who kept the play alive with a rebound attempt. Kopitar snuck in, scooping up the loose puck and fired a shot off the right post past Keith Kinkaid.

For the Kings, it was their first goal against Keith Kinkaid in four-plus periods of play this season, a 94:36-minute span. Kinkaid shutout the Kings on February 14.

With the assists on Kopitar’s goal, both Milan Lucic (five games) and Alec Martinez (three games) tied their career best assist-streaks.

Neither team scored in the third, the Kings went to their 17th overtime game of the season.

In the extra frame, and moments after Jonathan Quick stopped Adam Henrique on a breakaway opportunity, John Moore drove the puck into the Kings’ zone, swung behind the net, and upon clearing the far post, fired a wrist-shot past Quick with 14 seconds left on the clock to give the Devils a 2-1 win

For the Kings, it was just their third overtime loss this season; they are now 12-5 overall in games that extend past regulation.

The Kings finished their home stand with a 3-1-1 record.

Anze Kopitar (1G), Milan Lucic (1A) and Alec Martinez (1A) led all Kings players in points scored (1), Anze Kopitar in shots taken (4), Dustin Brown in hits delivered (8), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (3), and Jake Muzzin in minutes played (25:36). Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the overtime loss.

The Kings will now venture out on a two-game road trip which begins Monday night when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 5:00 PM PST.

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