The Kings dropped their second straight game, this one in a shootout to the bottom-feeding Edmonton Oilers. It was another game that lacked any sort of structure from Los Angeles, allowing their opponents to dictate the pace of the game.
Despite tossing 43 shots on net, the Kings were unable to score more than 2 goals, matching the Oilers regulation total on just 23 shots.
The Kings went down 2-0 before they woke up and managed to stage a comeback in the 3rd period. Captain Dustin Brown led the way, first scoring about halfway through the period then assisting on Ryan Smyth's goal with a little less than five minutes remaining.
Neither team was able to score in an overtime that saw the Kings with a 4 on 3 powerplay. The Kings' game plan was obvious, get Jarret Stoll the puck to bomb away. The problem was when that plan didn't work, the Kings didn't deviate from it. Ersberg was able to send the game to a shootout when he robbed Patrick O'Sullivan with an incredible glove save on a fast break.
The shootout went to 10 rounds, 20 shooters in all. Kopitar shot first for the Kings and managed to juke Deslauriers out of his jock on a sensational deke. Deslauriers clamped down after that and made every King shooter minus Simmonds and Handzus look like pee-wees, poke checking puck after puck.
Former King Lubomir Visnovsky won it for the Oilers, scoring in the 10th round.
Terry Murray tried several different line combos in the game, as well as juggling defensive pairings. Drew Doughty played over 31 minutes of ice-time. Rich Clune played in his first NHL game after Brandon Segal was placed on waivers and subsequently claimed by Dallas. Clune logged over 11 minutes of ice-time.
The Kings gained a loser point in the shootout loss to remain in 5th place in the West. They face-off against 6th place Colorado on Saturday night, the team they are just 2 points ahead of. The game will be the second of back-to-backs for Colorado, as they face Phoenix on Friday night.
The Olympic Trade Freeze came with little action and none from the Kings excluding the loss of Brandon Segal to waivers. The most notable moves were Ottawa picking up solid 3rd line Center Matt Cullen in exchange for young defenseman Alexandre Picard and a 2nd, and Cam Barker going to Minnesota for Kim Johnsson and 2009 first-round pick defenseman Nick Leddy.
Carolina now has 3 second round picks including this one, their own, and Buffalo's pick that they received for sending Niclas Wallin to San Jose. Carolina will most likely stockpile more picks and assets with Whitney, Corvo, Walker and others rumored to be on the way out.
The second round pick seems to be the going price for a decent rental which is hefty considering the caliber of players received in return. It will be interesting to see what the Kings are ready to give up come the trade deadline after an unsuccessful bid for Ilya Kovalchuk.
The tilt against Colorado on Saturday will be the last game until after the Olympics. You can still check out a few Kings in action over the break with Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson, Dustin Brown, Michal Handzus, and Jonathan Quick appearing in the 2010 games in Vancouver.
See you Saturday, Kings fans!
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney