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Shootout troubles haunt Kings again in 2-1 loss to Canucks

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

The Kings escaped Rogers Arena Monday night with one more standings point earned in their 2-1 SO loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Achilles heel for the Kings this season has been their performance after regulation time. For the 18th time Monday night, the Kings had a contest extend past regulation – they are now 3-15 in OT/SO situations this season.

“Shootouts, we haven’t been very good, we haven’t been helping out Quickie very much,” Trevor Lewis expressed following the game. “It’s over now, we have to move on, we’ve only got three more games left, so we’ve got to focus on the next game.”

The first period was by far and away the Kings’ best hockey played of the evening. They produced numerous scoring chances on Eddie Lack while able to sustain pressure in the Canucks’ zone, firing off 15 shots during the opening 20 minutes.

Dwight King got the Kings on the board, scoring his 13th goal of the season and his second in as many games just over a minute into the contest. King was able to jockey for position in front of Vancouver’s net and slam home a Jeff Carter feed.

Tyler Toffoli initiated the play, sending a lead-pass to Carter as he entered the neutral zone with speed. Carter, upon entering the Canucks’ zone, drove the puck wide to the right corner, then found King with a pass in Eddie Lack’s crease.

The Kings took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first period, and it was all Canucks from then on out.

Vancouver dictated play throughout the second period and for most of the third. The Kings were able to maintain pace with the Canucks in the shot department, but they weren’t getting many second opportunities around Eddie Lack’s net.

Daniel Sedin struck for the Canucks with just over 10 minutes to play in the third, blasting a slap shot high past Quick’s glove side after receiving a pass from his brother Henrik in behind the Kings’ net.

The game extended to overtime, but neither team could find the back of the net. The Canucks outshot the Kings 4-2 during the extra frame.

In the shootout, Eddie Lack denied all three Kings shooters. Chris Higgins, Vancouver’s third and final shooter, beat Quick for the game-deciding goal.

The Kings once again find themselves outside of the Western Conference’s playoff picture. Now with 93 points, they’re tied with the Calgary Flames for the Pacific Division’s third and final playoff seed – but Calgary owns the tiebreaker. The Kings are one point behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second and final wild-card spot.

Tyler Toffoli (1A), Jeff Carter (1A), and Dwight King (1G) led all Kings players in points scored (1), Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty, and Jeff Carter in shots taken (5), Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown in hits delivered (3), four players in blocked shots (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:51). Jonathan Quick made 37 saves in the shootout loss.

With the SO loss, the Kings’ record falls to 39-25-15; their mark away from STAPLES Center drops to 15-16-8. The Kings will continue their road trip Tuesday night at Rexall Place when they take on the Edmonton Oilers; the puck is slated to drop just after 6:30PM PT.

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