Kings come up short in 3-1 loss at hands of Blues

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles failed to generate enough offense early and could not catch up in the end.

The Kings headed off to St. Louis as they took on the Blues in the first contest of a three-game road trip. Overall, it was an intense opening period that saw Alexey Toropchenko get St. Louis on the board in the final minutes. In the second, they extended the lead to 2-0 via Jake Neighbours’ 21st score of the season. The Kings, who struggled all night to break through despite numerous opportunities, headed to the third down two scores. The Blues would once again score for the third consecutive period as Brandon Saad gave them a 3-0 lead with just about 10 minutes to play. Needing a major comeback, Adrian Kempe finally got Los Angeles on the board with his 21st goal of the season to make it 3-1. Despite the brief momentum change, the Kings failed to score any more times and left the Enterprise Center with a loss.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Jordan Binnington frustrates Kings with 40 saves

While Los Angeles came out of Wednesday night’s game with just 1 score, it was due to a lack of action. As a team, they fired 41 shots toward Blues’ goalie Jordan Binnington, and he was able to save 40 of them. It was an impressive performance as Los Angeles managed to out-shoot St. Louis by 11 goals in the loss. The Kings were active in all three periods, and coach Jim Hiller shared his thoughts on the squad’s performance.

Hiller, along with everyone else, knew that the Kings were doing a good job of getting near the net and forcing the issue. Unfortunately, they came up unable to capitalize too many times and Binnington had his way. It was just his 5th game this season with 40 or more saves, and it was a big one for St. Louis. The win crept them even closer to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, which is currently being held by the Vegas Golden Knights. For the Kings, the loss was less than ideal, and the squad has now lost 3 of their last 5. In addition, St. Louis secured the victory in the season series 2 games to 1.

Kings’ penalty-kill streak reaches 40 games

Throughout the length of this season, one of the strongest areas for the Kings has been their power-play defense. Although they did give up 3 goals and take a loss on Wednesday, it was the 40th consecutive game for Los Angeles in which they have not allowed multiple power-play goals. None of the St. Louis scores in the game came during power-play situations, and now the streak will continue to live on. Earlier this season, the Dallas Stars were able to go 46 straight games without allowing multiple power-play goals, and the Kings are now within striking distance of them as the streak has hit 41. They are also first in the NHL this season in power-play goals allowed, with just 28 given up so far this year. Goalies Cam Talbot and David Rittich have evidently done an excellent job at holding down the fort in situations where the squad has one less man on the ice. If the Kings want to keep trending in the right direction and keep their playoff position, the ability to keep consistently defending during power-play situations will certainly help them get there.

Talbot takes third loss in last four games

The month of March has been a slow one so far for goalie Cam Talbot, who took another loss on Wednesday at the hands of the Blues. So far this month, he’s appeared in 5 games and has a record of 2-2-1. However, he has now lost 3 out of his last 4 outings and has given up 11 goals in that span. The season has been one of ups and downs for the 36-year-old in the middle of his first season with Los Angeles. He was selected to the All-Star game for just the second time in his career this season and has been the Kings’ main goalie throughout the 2023-2024 campaign. Despite going through a streak in which he came up on the losing end of 12 straight starts, he still holds a record of 19-16-6. His efforts have helped Los Angeles establish their position as the owner of the third playoff spot in the Pacific Division. There is still a lot of work to do before the end of the season, however, and he will need to turn things around soon for the Kings to keep the momentum on their side. With just about half of the month left, he will look to avoid suffering just his second under .500 month of the season record-wise.

There should be a nice opportunity for Talbot and the rest of the team awaiting in Chicago, as the Kings will face off against the Blackhawks in their next appearance on Friday night. Despite being headlined by rookie sensation Connor Bedard, Chicago still continues to have a rough year and is sitting in last place in the Central Division.

The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. PT.