LOS ANGELES — Another loss for the Los Angeles Kings. They have fallen from a hot start to a wild card race, losing again on Thursday to the Nashville Predators, 2-1.
The Kings have lost ten of their last 11 games, dropping to the last wild card spot in the Western Conference. Thursday looked like many of their other losses: a close defeat.
“We have just got to figure it out,” Anze Kopitar said. “We gotta play better in certain moments of the game. It starts with me on top; I gotta be a lot better for this team. Pull along, and that’s the only way we are going to get out of it. Play hard as a group.”
The Predators got on the board first in the second period. However, the Kings responded quickly on the power play when Adrian Kempe served the puck to Drew Doughty, who rifled a shot into the back of the net. The goal was Doughty’s tenth of the season, the eighth time he has reached such a mark in his career.
The Predators bounced back with another goal, one too many for the Kings. They fought to the final buzzer but failed to equalize.
“Third period was good,” Kopitar said. “We had some chances but did not score on them. When it comes down to final minutes, you try to throw everything at them, and it did not work for us.”
David Rittich started his fifth game of the season, putting in a solid performance again. He allowed two goals on 33 shots. In total, he has allowed nine goals through five starts.
“He has played extremely well the last couple of starts,” Kopitar said. “It is nice to see him get the opportunity and be there for us when we need him.”
Next, the Kings play the San Jose Sharks on Saturday with a chance to return to the win column as the team hopes to pull themselves out of the slump.