The Los Angeles Kings returned home to SoCal looking for a reversal of fortune.
They saw their five-game winning streak against the Blues end. Their current losing streak extended to five games, their worst skid since 2011.
The fill-in goaltending tandem of Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens finally faltered, underscoring the importance of Jonathan Quick’s recovery from his groin muscle injury.
“You’ve got to make some saves,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter told reporters after the game. “I mean, that’s that how you break losing streaks, that’s how you have winning streaks.”
He was none too pleased with Brenden Morrow’s power-play goal that gave the Blues a quick 1-0 lead. Morrow played a carom off the back wall perfectly and scored when Jones didn’t seal the angle.
“At some point your goaltenders have to be good penalty killers, too,” Sutter said. “And that’s two in two games where we’ve basically killed, and the puck’s off the back of the boards.”
Quick has been on the ice, working his way back from his injury. The Kings planned to send him on a rehab assignment to the AHL, but management changed its mind after a winter storm played havoc with travel.
What if Quick got stuck in a snow bank somewhere? Perhaps he can play in an ECHL game or two closer to home to get back into game mode.
Sutter also suggested his key players needed to take responsibility for reversing the current slide. Perhaps the lopsided 5-0 score Thursday night will jar the troops.
“I’m not into that high-low stuff,” he said. “I’m not into the yelling, screaming part of it, but there is a leadership part of it that has to have full direction in it.”
Defenseman Drew Doughty said all the right things afterward.
“When our team is playing with confidence throughout the whole lineup we’re an amazing team and we have to remember that,” he told reporters. “We’re playing like we’re scared out there. Like we’re scared to try things, that we’re scared to do the right things and that’s why we’re losing and that’s why we got smoked tonight.”