Kings at Hurricanes: November Rain
The Kings lost three games in a row, but thankfully the Carolina Hurricanes were next, and there was absolutely NO WAY the Kings could lose to Carolina, right? A team with no wins in October couldn’t possibly be that difficult to play. Carolina’s only had win came against the Arizona Coyotes, a noted trash heap, just one day prior. Their players were also on the second day of a back-to-back.
Meanwhile, the Kings had played an excellent possession game against Pittsburgh despite not scoring any goals. Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik also returned to the lineup. Rejoice! Easy times ahead!
Things started out alright, too. Everything seemed manageable, and then the unthinkable started to happened and continued for 55 more minutes.
This is such a heartbreaking image. Kings fans had been promised the opposite of this.
The Hurricanes didn’t look at all tired. Goaltender Cam Ward put up another solid performance despite starting two days in a row, and Victor Rask struck first for the Hurricanes in the first period. The Kings had now been outscored 9-1 on the road trip.
Instead of buckling down, the Kings gave up an infuriating number of additional quality scoring chances. They also continued to take stick penalties that left them shorthanded. Carolina had four power play opportunities and Chris Terry converted on one in the second period to put his team up 2-0.
Thankfully Mike Richards converted on a Kings power play to put the visiting team back in it. He took a shot so hard that it pulled his tiny little body down to the ice as he scored.
Elias Lindholm restored the Hurricanes two-goal lead later in the period. Alec Martinez scored unassisted less than halfway through the period, but the tying goal eluded the Kings through the end of regulation.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about it. The Kings played poorly and got beat. The skid extended to four games.
One positive is that Kopitar and Gaborik both played well in their return. Their line was the only Kings line to come out positive in the possession game. Justin Williams finished at a +5, Kopitar was +4, and Gaborik was +2.
The Kings team’s inconsistency is baffling but not yet awful. If they clean up their defense they could still pull out a win against the Dallas Stars and hopefully end the road trip with more than one point.