Another slow start. Another frantic comeback. Except that this time, unlike so many other times this season, the Kings couldn’t quite complete the comeback.
Three of the Kings’ past five wins have been of the comeback variety, but against one of the worst road teams in the NHL, the Kings couldn’t overcome their early slumber as they fell to the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout Thursday night at STAPLES Center.
In the longest shootout in Kings history, Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers stopped Alexander Frolov in the 10th round, and then Lubomir Visnovksy beat Kings goalie Erik Ersberg.
The Kings, after a nine-game winning streak, are now winless in their last two. Dustin Brown and Ryan Smyth scored goals in the final 10 minutes of the third period, and the Kings outshot the Oilers 43-23, but the Kings couldn’t quite complete the rally.
``I don't know what it is with our starts,'' Kings center Anze Kopitar said. ``Obviously if we knew, we'd correct it or do something about it. I think it just comes down to the preparation for the game and just getting ready for the game. Obviously we're not at the level we should be, right when the puck drops. When you fall behind, it's tough to chase. We've pulled it off numerous times, but you can't win hockey games like that.''
Ersberg got the start in goal for the Kings, as Jonathan Quick suffered from flu symptoms.
Neither goalie got tested much in a scoreless first period, in which both teams had seven shots on goal and both failed to convert on two power-play chances.
The Oilers broke a scoreless tie with 6:22 remaining in the second period. Kings defenseman Matt Greene broke his stick in the Kings' zone, then took Jarret Stoll's stick. The Kings were unable to clear the zone, and Grebeshkov scored on a long-range shot with Zack Stortini running traffic directly in front of the net.
Edmonton made it a two-goal lead with a power-play goal 7:47 into the third period. Penner held the puck just below the left faceoff dot and, with some space in front of him, fired a wrist shot high and past Ersberg.
The Kings got on the board with 8:55 remaining in the third period. Rob Scuderi's shot from just inside the blue line got through, and after a scramble in front of the Oilers' net, Brown knocked the rebound past Jeff Deslauriers.
The Kings tied the game, with 4:48 remaining, after another point shot and scramble in front of the net. This time, Sean O'Donnell took the shot. Deslauriers thought he had it covered, but Dustin Brown appeared to knock the puck loose, and Smyth knocked it into the net.
The 10-round shootout is a Kings record (previous high was 8, Dec. 10, 2009 vs. PHX)... The Kings are 8-4 in shootouts ... The Kings are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games (points in 10 of their last 11: 9-1-1) ... The Kings are 4-0-1 in their last five at home ... Anze Kopitar has points in 10 of the last 11 games (8-9=17) ... Ryan Smyth has points in six straight (2-4=5) ... Dustin Brown has 14 points in the last 17 games (6-8=14) ... Drew Doughty has 20 points in the last 22 games (3-17=20) ... 24 of the last 34 games have been decided by one goal (16-7-1) ... 14 of the last 16 home games have been decided by one goal (8-4-2).