December 2, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Kings lose late lead in overtime loss to Minnesota Wild

After a 309-day layoff, the Kings returned to the ice for the first time since last March on Thursday night, hosting the Minnesota Wild in their 2020-21 season opener at Staples Center.

Here are five takeaways from their 4-3 overtime loss:

Kings squander third-period lead

Last season, the Kings were 18-1-1 when leading after two periods. On Thursday, they blew a two-goal second-intermission lead.

After dominating five-on-five play for the opening two periods, the Wild sustained pressure throughout the third. Victor Rask and Marcus Foligno scored about six minutes apart to tie the score at 3-3, then Kirill Kaprizov converted an overtime breakaway to end the game.

Carter’s savvy season debut

Embarking on his 16th NHL season, Jeff Carter’s veteran presence was on display. On an offensive-zone draw with four seconds left in the first, he was sent on the ice with the top line for one reason: Crash the net and score. He did exactly that, poking in Anze Kopitar’s rebound for the Kings’ first goal of the campaign.

In the second, Carter saw offseason addition Andreas Athanasiou speeding toward the net and ricocheted a wrist shot off Wild goalie Cam Talbot’s pad, creating a perfect rebound for Athanasiou to jam it in for his first goal as a King.

Quick looks sharp

The Kings’ 10-month offseason and abbreviated two-week training camp was supposed to be especially challenging for their goaltenders. At least, that was the conventional wisdom. On Thursday, however, Jonathan Quick looked sharp in his 12th straight season-opening start for the Kings.

The highlight of Quick’s 23-save performance came during a flawless second period.

He stopped all 12 shots that came his way, including each of the Wild’s eight power-play attempts on net in the frame (the Kings killed off all six of their penalties in the game).

Doughty, Maatta debut partnership

Drew Doughty and offseason acquisition Olli Maatta at times showed the makings of a strong defensive pairing in their first game together, eating up a lot of minutes with fellow defensemen Kurtis MacDermid and Sean Walker both out because of COVID-19 protocol related absences.

In the third period, however, the duo was on the ice for both of the Wild’s goals that erased the Kings’ 3-1 lead.

Brown scores 300th

Dustin Brown scored his 300th career goal in the second period — he just didn’t know it until later. Originally, Adrian Kempe was credited with the power-play tally and Brown the primary assist.

But replay showed Brown’s pass had actually deflected in off a Wild player instead. He is the fifth player in Kings history to reach the milestone.