LA Kings Seattle Kraken

Photo Credit: Hockey Royalty

The LA Kings dropped a bad loss to Seattle on a night where head coach Todd McLellan was honored for his 1,000th game coached before the game. However, the excitement was short-lived.

Seattle’s goal with four seconds remaining in regulation on Saturday seemed to give them some momentum coming into Monday. The Kraken scored 14 seconds into the game off a terrible pass from Anze Kopitar. I would imagine there were still many people still looking for their seats before Alex Wennberg tallied his eighth goal of the season.

“I think today’s game is a combination of the last four seconds in Saturday’s game, and the first 14 seconds in today’s game,” McLellan said after the game. “We opened the door for them on the last shift on Saturday, and they took advantage on the first shift today. After that, they pushed us out of the game with work ethic, execution, faceoffs, you name it, in every aspect of the game.”

The goal marked the fastest to start a game in Seattle’s young history.

Jordan Spence drew a penalty just over four minutes into the game, and the LA Kings converted on the power-play for the fourth straight game.

Los Angeles caught Seattle in a change with a streaking Adrian Kempe receiving the puck as he entered the zone. The Swedish forward faked a shot, just enough to freeze Seattle netminder Chris Driedger, before sliding the puck over to a wide-open Arthur Kaliyev, who buried the puck into the back of the net.

For Kaliyev, the 20-year-old sniper now has six power-play goals, tying Trevor Zegras with most power-play goals among rookie skaters.

Seattle responded three minutes later on Adam Larsson‘s sixth goal of the year. The Swedish forward fired a puck through some traffic that got past Cal Petersen, who looked shaky from the get-go. The Waterloo, Iowa native came into Monday, stopping a combined 40-of-43 shots on goal in his two previous contests against the Kraken this season.

On Monday, he gave up six goals on 38 shots.

McLellan looked for more offense and put the forward lines into the blender to start the second period. Phillip Danault and Anze Kopitar switched places on the first and second lines, while Lias Andersson and Quinton Byfield swapped places on the bottom six. Andersson was playing in place of Blake Lizotte, who was crunched into the end boards on Saturday.

“It’s a bump in the road,” Kopitar admitted. “We still like the position we’re in. We’ll address this one, look at some stuff, correct some stuff, and get ready for the next one.”

The defensive pairings struggled with the breakout, and the forwards couldn’t do anything in the offensive zone. Sean Durzi was not great by any means on Monday, accounting for a team-worst -4 plus-minus. He was caught watching Victor Rask patiently finding his corner, burying it past Petersen for Seattle’s third goal of the game.

Seattle continued to dominate the puck possession, scoring three more goals in the third period, with Jordan Eberle putting the game away on a breakaway goal after blocking Olli Maatta‘s shot. Jared McCann tallied his 24th goal of the year 29 seconds later, and Daniel Sprong added his 11th goal of the year and third straight since being acquired by Seattle.

“I think when you lose 6-1, and it likely could have been worse, there’s not a lot you’re going to take from positives out of it,” added McLellan. “We were beat in every facet of the game today. We’ll look at it, we’ll show the players some things, we’ll get them to use it as some teaching opportunities and then we’ll move on, that’s all we can do. I don’t know what the outcome will be in Edmonton, I just know what we’re living right now wasn’t good enough.

With Edmonton beating Arizona 6-1 on Monday, the Oilers pulled within two points of second place with a game in hand. The LA Kings and Oilers will meet on Wednesday at Rogers Place, with puck drop set for 6:30 pm PT.

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