LOS ANGELES — 2023 did not end as the Los Angeles Kings hoped. They lost their final two games as head coach Todd McLellan mentioned their power play as an area of growth in 2024. But on Tuesday, 2024 began like the end of 2023, with a loss.
The Kings fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0. Much like the end of the previous year, the power play was unsuccessful for them.
The Kings’s first power play attempt was shot-less. They tried again in the second period, and while it gained more momentum than the first, they still could not score. In total, the Kings failed to score on three power plays, and ultimately, the Maple Leafs shut the Kings out for the first time in the 2023-24 season.
A lack of connectivity and slow play marked their entire performance. They were producing little offensively early and shifted the personnel on their lines. The change helped them speed up play, but they still failed to score.
“The pace of the game, Toronto, caused a lot of our problems, but L.A. contributed to them as well,” McLellan said.
“We’ll sit down tomorrow we’ll talk about whether we liked it [the line changes] or not. I do think we played more assertive and faster in the second half of the game, but sometimes the score dictates what the opponent does.
The Kings stayed in the game by limiting the Maple Leafs’s production, but it was not enough in the loss. Goaltender Cam Talbot contributed to their efforts in his 24th start of the 2023-24 season. He allowed two goals on 28 shots.
Next, the Kings play the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday with a chance to get back on track. Faster play or a more imposing power play would be helpful for the Kings hope to pick up two points then.