LOS ANGELES -- The Pittsburgh Penguins lost their fourth straight game, 2-1 against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday.
Pittsburgh (37-19-6), which acquired forwards Patrick Marleau, Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues in separate trades on Monday, remained four points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
"We know that points are important, and we want to be playing well this time of year," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Obviously you don't want to drop four in a row, but it's the reality we face. I feel like we probably deserved a little better the last few games, but you don't get points for that. We've got to find ways to win games."
[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Kings highlights]
Calvin Petersen made 35 saves for Los Angeles (23-35-6), which is 4-2-1 in its past seven games. Blake Lizotte had a power-play goal and an assist.
"Anytime you get a chance to play one of the better teams, it's fun to put your best foot forward and kind of use it as a measuring stick. I thought we played well tonight as a team," Lizotte said.
Trevor Lewis made it 2-0 at 19:28 of the second period when he scored on his own rebound. Lewis has scored twice in the past nine games after getting two goals in 41 games to start this season.
Video: PIT@LAK: Lewis knocks in his own rebound
Petersen saved all 14 shots he faced in the second.
"I just think the whole game, we kind of suffocated them," Petersen said. "We gave ourselves a chance to win and kind of played our brand of hockey."
The Kings took a 1-0 lead when Lizotte redirected Sean Walker's shot from the blue line at 2:34 of the first period.
Los Angeles went 1-for-2 on the power play; Pittsburgh was 0-for-3.
"For me, the difference in the game is the special teams department," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "If special teams gets it done on either side, it gives us a chance. But I thought we had a lot of good looks."
Video: Situation Room: Crosby's tip didn't cross goal line
Crosby thought he tied it at 18:24 when a pass from Jason Zucker redirected off his skate, but video review determined the puck hit the crossbar and trickled along the goal line without going in.
"It just didn't seem to want to go in," Crosby said.
Tristan Jarry made 20 saves for the Penguins.
Despite the result, their new teammates said they were pleased with how Marleau, Sheary and Rodrigues fit.
Sheary, who was acquired along with Rodrigues from the Buffalo Sabres for forward Dominik Kahun, was minus-1 in 18:14 of ice time. He was used on the top line with Crosby and Zucker to begin his second stint with Pittsburgh, where he played his first three NHL seasons and won the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017.
Marleau, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, had one shot in 14:29. Rodrigues won four of five face-offs and played 7:48 while centering the fourth line.
"Those guys were great. I think you can see what makes them successful players in the League," said Penguins forward Bryan Rust, who scored on a backhand shot after a pass from Evgeni Malkin at 6:42 of the third period for the 2-1 final. "Obviously a lot of us are familiar with Conor and even playing against [Marleau] in the playoffs, I think we know how good he's been for so long. Rodrigues came in, [and] you could see how hard he works and his wheels and just the team game."
They said it
"It's good to shut the brain off as soon as you get on the ice. It was racing before that, but [I] felt pretty good on the ice tonight and the guys are all easy to play with, so it makes it easy." -- Penguins forward Patrick Marleau
"Hopefully we can maintain the puck a little more and get going, but right now the guys are playing how they need to play to win and they played hard tonight. Part of developing the future is gaining some of those characteristics at this point now, and they did a good job." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan
Need to know
Malkin played in his 900th NHL game. He had an assist to extend his point streak to three games (three goals, two assists). … It was the second multipoint game of Lizotte's NHL career; he had a goal and an assist against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 9. … Penguins forward Jared McCann did not play because of an upper-body injury. Sullivan said he did not know the severity of the injury and McCann is still being evaluated.
Penguins: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-W, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)
Kings: Host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; FS-W, MSG+, NHL.TV)
Video: Petersen, Kings hold on to defeat Penguins