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The Key Three: Jan. 15

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Three key aspects of the Kings’ 2-1 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers

How in the world can some of the Kings’ recent results be explained? Columbus, loser of eight of its previous nine games, come into STAPLES Center and beat the Kings. Shortly thereafter, the Kings blow past Washington and beat, by three goals on the road, a Calgary team that won won eight in a row at home. How do they follow that up? With two awful periods and a 1-0 overtime loss to Edmonton, which had won two of its previous 14. Yes, it was a back-to-back situation. Yes, the Oilers were angry after a bad loss two nights before. Yes, the refereeing was questionable. Still, the Kings should have been better.

The Kings entered the game having scored five power-play goals on their previous 12 chances. Was it possible that the Kings, after a six-week search, were finally finding some momentum with the man advantage? Well, no. The Kings went 0-for-3 on the power play and generated only three shots on goal in six minutes. Moreover, the timing was awful. The Kings had a power play with less than four minutes remaining in the third period of a tie game. The Oilers, a poor third-period team and only an average penalty-kill team, were there for the taking. The Kings had two shots, went offside once and didn’t score.

What more can be said about Jonathan Quick? As someone pointed out after the game, how many NHL goalies have their goals-against average drop after a loss? Not many, and certainly not many whose average is already around 2.00. Quick played the previous night in Calgary but got the call in Edmonton, and he was certainly equal to the task. Quick faced 33 shots and was beaten twice, once on a deflection at the end of an Edmonton power play and once in overtime, when the Oilers had a tough-to-stop 4-on-3 power play. In 25 hours, Quick stopped 60 of 63 shots. He deserved two wins from that, not just one.
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