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Kings Can't Overcome Horrible First Period Against Canucks

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Do you remember my last Kings’ game story I wrote and all of the good feelings it engendered? It was a nice uplifting story about an offense starting to find its legs after getting off to a disappointing start.

Strike it from the record. After an abysmal first period they managed to cling on to yet another loss, this time to the middling Vancouver Canucks 3-2.

Right off the bat stupid penalties by Trevor Lewis (a five-minute elbowing major) and Drew Doughty (a two-minute crosscheck minor) allowed the Canucks to have the five-on-three advantage for two minutes. The second best power-play team in the NHL took advantage of it with Sami Salo and Andrew Ebbett scoring goals less than a minute apart from each other.

“You don’t want to get down one goal, two goals, it doesn’t matter,” Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick said. “The next 50 minutes we were trying to get out of the hole we dug ourselves in.”

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Don’t mention that Lewis elbowing penalty to Kings’ head coach Terry Murray. “Have you seen the replay,” Murray retorted back after being asked about the recent spate of five-on-three kills the Kings have had to do recently.

But Quick was a bit more diplomatic about his dissention. “At the end of the day you always want to be disciplined no matter what. Even if you get a call you don’t think you deserved, it is what it is and you have to fight it off and you have to kill it off.”

They didn’t which was the biggest problem in the game.

To give the Kings credit, they did play better after that first period. Doughty scored a power-play goal in the middle of the second period, and Mike Richards made it a one-goal game late in the third after the Kings pulled Quick for the extra attacker. But as the saying goes, close only counts in horseshoes.

The problem with all of this defense even in the postgame media confabs is that there is still no offense.

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“We should be scoring more,” Justin Williams admitted in a mostly deserted dressing room. “We’ve had a lot of chances.”

Williams might think they are getting a lot of chances. In this game almost by a miracle the Kings made it to the 30-shot threshold for only the eighth time this season after tying a season low of three shots in the first period. They average 2.25 goals per game, only better than the New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks.

Despite the evidence Williams said the players still have confidence in the team. Greene echoed that good feelings. “I think a lot of guys felt pretty good about the game,” Greene said.

But here is the most troubling part about the Kings. They might have spurts where they play great hockey. However all it amounts to are goose eggs. They are coming up with a lot of losses, now having lost seven of their last nine games only getting a point in two of those losses.

While they may tell us that they feel good about how they’re playing, that dressing room was awfully deserted.

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“Obviously still no positives coming out it though,” Greene said. “Still we need those points. We need to be getting points in every game.”

TONIGHT’S ACTION

Vancouver Canucks at Anaheim Ducks. 7:30 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.

Loyola Marymount Lions at UCLA Bruins. 7:30 p.m. FSWest, AM 570 KLAC.

Cal State Northridge Matadors at USC Trojans. 8:00 p.m. AM 710 KSPN.

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Redlands Bulldogs at Cal State Fullerton Titans. 7:05 p.m.

LA Clippers at Boston Celtics. 4:30 p.m.

Denver Nuggets at LA Lakers. 7:30 p.m.