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Bad Calls and Lethargy Litter Kings Loss to Predators

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Daylight savings time, afternoon matinee and bad calls on both ends by referee Dean Morton doomed the Kings in their 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators before 18,118 at Staples Center, the Kings’ 17th sellout of the season.

The Kings came out of the gates sleepwalking (sleep-skating?) through the opening minutes of the game. In fact the Predators had a 5-0 shot advantage after the first four minutes of the game. Their persistence paid off when Steve Sullivan scored the first goal of the game when his shot deflected off the top of Quick’s stick and into the net 4:42 into the game.

“That’s a play that he has to have,” Kings head coach Terry Murray said about Quick allowing the goal. “He just wasn’t squared to the puck.”

Nashville’s goal seemed to awaken the Kings from their extended slumber, and they suddenly became more aggressive. The Kings were awarded by getting a power play opportunity when Kevin Klein was called for a hooking penalty deep in the Nashville zone 8:12 in the period.

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Anze Kopitar scored a goal 44 seconds later on an assist by Michal Handzus to notch his 32nd goal tying his career high for goals set in the 2007-08 season and giving him points in nine of his last 10 games.

They extended their smart play when they went on a penalty kill 13:35 in the first period. They were active blocking the passing lanes for the Predators and allowed only one shot on goal during the penalty while blocking a shot and getting two good hits on the Preds.