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Slow-starting Los Angeles Kings realize repeating their Stanley Cup run won't be easy

  • 3dce5bd1ad2ea405290f6a7067001320.jpg

    Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, left, falls as he goes for the puck along with Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Adrian Aucoin during the first period of their NHL hockey game on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (The Associated Press)

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    Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford, right, celebrates his goal with teammates, defenseman Keaton Ellerby, left, and center Jarret Stoll, during the second period of their NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (The Associated Press)

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    Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno, left, and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi battle for the puck during the third period of their NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (The Associated Press)

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    Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky, left, and Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll battle for the puck during the second period of their NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (The Associated Press)

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    Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter, left, and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson battle for the puck during the second period of their NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (The Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Kings' defense of their Stanley Cup title looks a whole lot like their championship season so far.

They just haven't got to the good part yet.

The team that turned a rocky regular season into the franchise's first NHL title is off to another slow start. Injuries, poor offense and a rough schedule have pushed the Kings well back in the Western Conference pack during the first quarter of the season.

Although the Kings (5-5-2) climbed out of last place in the conference with a 2-1 win over NHL-worst Columbus on Friday night, it was their only home appearance in a nine-game stretch over the first three weeks of February.

With so many obstacles already, the Kings have learned why repeating is so tough in the NHL.