The Kings fall to the Wild at home

The Los Angeles Kings have one game left in the regular season and hope to secure third place in the Pacific Division.

LOS ANGELES- – The Los Angeles Kings are set to host the Minnesota Wild in the 81st game of the season. The Kings are preparing for the playoffs and are looking to improve before the first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. The Wild previously lost to the Kings a few weeks ago at Crypto.com Arena with a score of 6-0. However, with Anze Kopitar back on the ice, the Kings attempted to continue their winning streak going at home.

The Los Angeles Kings’ Cam Talbot, who did not play in their last game against the Anaheim Ducks, has returned to the team. Talbot had conceded the opening goal of the match to Minnesota Wild’s Matt Boldy. The Wild led 1-0 for most of the second period, but with just 4.6 seconds left in the period, Ryan Hartman scored his 21st goal of the season to make it 2-0. Although Los Angeles made a timely mistake in defense to allow the late score, it appeared that they weren’t quite ready to start the game. Nonetheless, LA had won their first two matches of the season against the Wild.

The Minnesota Wild controlled the game for the very beginning as the Los Angeles Kings fall to the Wild, 3-1. This loss ended the Kings’ eight-game winning streak at home. Kirill Kaprizov scored a goal for Minnesota, which helped them secure the win. In the third period, Blake Lizotte scored a goal for Los Angeles, which was their first of the game. Minnesota had scored two goals in the first two periods, and they extended their lead to 3-0 with Kaprizov’s 45th goal of the season. The Kings have one more game to play on Thursday against the Chicago.

The Kings faced a loss on Monday, which has placed them in a precarious position. They could potentially drop from their current third place in the Pacific Division, to being a wild card team. This puts the Kings in a tight spot as they could end up playing a strong Dallas team in the first round this weekend. Currently, the Kings are only one point ahead of the fourth-placed Vegas Golden Knights, who also have a game in hand on them. Los Angeles is 0-3 and have been outscored 13-3 by Dallas Stars this season.

The Kings had the best home record in the NHL since the All-Star break on Monday. However, they were threatened in the first period when Matt Boldy scored on a power play. Despite this, Minnesota’s goaltender Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves while Talbot stopped 25 shots.

Coach Hiller talked after the game during his postgame press conference and was not happy with how the game played out.

“Not enough intensity, not enough emotion, not competitive enough,” coach Hiller said.

Hiller discussed the difficulties his team encountered on Monday night and mentioned that they lacked commitment towards playing tonight. Although Hiller isn’t worried about their performance, he is cognizant of the circumstances they are facing as they head into the playoffs. Moreover, Hiller explained the areas where he believes his team fell short tonight.

“To me, it was a little bit like the Anaheim game. We didn’t put the puck in, we didn’t want to go to work and battle and be greasy and that’s hard. It’s a challenge to have to do that and we weren’t committed to doing that today.” Kings coach Jim Hiller said.

Anderson expressed concern about the team’s style and approach since clinching the playoffs. The level of concern is not high and it’s a warning to get it together prior to game one of the playoffs.

“I still think we’ve got guys playing the way we need to play. Maybe we’ve gotten a little greedy at times trying to make more plays than maybe we have in the past. I don’t think we’ve tried to change our style. Obviously, sometimes things happen game to game, but I don’t think anyone’s worried with what we’re trying to do as a group.” Kings’ Mikey Anderson said.

After the game, Anderson spoke and expressed his disappointment with his team’s performance and whether it matters who they play in the playoffs.

“I don’t think it matters who we play,” Kings Mikey Anderson said. “Obviously, anyone that’s making the postseason is a really good team. Whoever it is, we need to be ready to play, probably with a little more intensity than we had today if we want to have some success.”

Los Angeles is gearing up for Game No. 82 scheduled on Thursday against Chicago. The team is expected to play with its original lineup as they approach these games with the same intensity as they would in playoffs. Depending on how other teams perform in the next few days, they may face Dallas or Edmonton in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.