The loss last night to the New York Rangers can be explained with “you can’t win them all.”  Tonight’s game doesn’t have that luxury. Reminiscent of game one against Phoenix, the Kings showed holes in nearly every aspect of their game – turnovers, undisciplined penalties, an anemic powerplay, an ineffective penalty kill and poor goaltending. While the officiating of Dan Marouelli and Dean Morton no doubt left a bad taste in each of our mouths, it provides zero excuse for the final result.

The Kings got off to a good start with a gritty goal from Dustin Brown who crashed the net and picked up the rebound off Matt Greene’s point shot.  The Kings had the momentum at the end of the first leading 1-0.  But what kills momentum like no other? That’s right boys and girls.  A bad goal and that is exactly what Jonathan Quick gave up at 3:33 of the second period.  Jonathan Ericsson took a quick shot from the boards that beat Quick clean on the short side. The shot and goal was reminiscent of a poor effort by Erik Ersberg the night before who was beaten on a similar shot by former King Brian Boyle.

L.A. then took three consecutive penalties (four total for the period), including a two many men on the ice penalty.  It was this bench minor that cost the Kings.  Detroit’s Thomas Holmstrom deflected a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the point and the Red Wings were up 2-1. The Kings still managed to get 11 shots on goal in the second period despite being a man down for what felt like half the period, but Osgood was uncharacteristically sharp.

The Kings had little to offer in the third.  The Red Wings jumped to a 3-1 lead on a goal by Henrik Zetterberg.  Lidstrom received the assist for his milestone 1000th point.  A well deserved standing ovation followed.  Sean O’Donnell’s point shot (on a goal credited to Justin Williams due to an alleged deflection) narrowed the lead to 3-2 but the Kings just could not capitalize on the four power play opportunities the Red Wings gave them in the final period.  Kirk Maltby put the Wings ahead 4-2 and Rafalski polished the victory off with an empty net goal.

It’s not difficult to figure out why the Kings lost. It doesn’t matter that the Red Wings were without arguably their best player, Pavel Datsyuk. The Kings won’t beat any team in this league when they play like this.  20 minutes does not a game make. A listless powerplay and a think too much, not shoot enough offensive mentality won’t cut it. The Kings, if they expect to get back to their winning ways, must be reminded of what got them 4 straight victories…or they can simply look at this game and do exactly the opposite.

Go Kings!