August 2, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Kings blow another third-period lead in overtime loss to Wild

The Kings fell in overtime for a second straight game to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at Staples Center, losing 4-3 to open the season 0-0-2.

Here are five takeaways from the season’s second game:

Another blown lead

For the second straight game, the Kings found themselves ahead 3-1 at the second intermission. And for the second game, they failed to protect the lead.

The Wild (2-0-0) cut their deficit to one less than eight minutes into the third Saturday after Joel Eriksson Ek buried a rebound with the Kings caught in a line change. And then, with 1.4 seconds to play, Wild defenseman Ryan Suter got the puck in the high slot and buried a wrist shot through traffic to send the game to overtime.

The Wild scored with seconds remaining in the extra period as well, when Marcus Johansson’s knuckling one-time shot fooled Quick to lift the Wild to two overtime wins in the two-game series.

Dropped points

After Thursday’s overtime loss, Dustin Brown was asked whether such defeats feel different in a season where the Kings only play games against the seven teams they’ll directly compete with for one of the four West Division playoff spots.

“Yeah,” he said. “The way it’s designed, overtime losses are big, huge losses now. Sometimes in year’s past, you can sneak a point in and, not that you’re content with losing in overtime, but you can look at it as a positive. Might be viewed a little differently as [this] season progresses.”

Carter, Athanasiou create chemistry

Just like on Thursday night, Jeff Carter teed up Andreas Athanasiou for a goal on the rush. This time, the sequence began with Athanasiou applying a forecheck in the neutral zone and Carter taking the puck away from Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov. That led to a two-on-one odd man rush, with Carter – similar to what he did Thursday – directing a low shot off Wild goalie Cam Talbot to create an easy rebound for Athanasiou to tap in.

Not pretty

The first three goals Saturday weren’t as pretty.

The Wild opened the scoring 21 seconds into the first after defenseman Matt Dumba’s centering pass ricocheted off Quick’s chest, then Kurtis MacDermid’s leg, then trickled through Quick’s five hole.

The Kings’ opening two weren’t much prettier: a scramble in front Gabriel Vilardi poked in around the crease, and a pinballing deflection by Blake Lizotte on a Drew Doughty slap shot.

Cleared protocol

The Kings welcomed defensemen Kurtis MacDermid and Sean Walker back to the lineup Saturday after the duo missed Thursday’s season-opener because of a COVID-19 protocol related absence. Goalie Cal Petersen also cleared protocol.