Published November 20, 2014
Kings defenseman Matt Greene said it has been four years since the club could rely on taking positives out of its losses.
Four years is also how long it has been since Los Angeles last lost six straight games.
Looking to take the next step this season after the offseason addition of Mike Richards to a core that already includes Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick, the Kings are just 1-4-2 since opening the season 5-1-1. That has dropped them into fourth in the Pacific Division, five points behind the first-place Stars.
Los Angeles has lost each of its past five games, going 0-3-2 in that span following last night's 4-2 setback to San Jose. Kopitar had a goal and an assist, Jack Johnson scored and Quick allowed four goals on 38 shots.
The Kings, who return home for their next four games, grabbed an early lead on Johnson's second-period tally, but was eventually outshot 21-8 in the frame and watched the Sharks score three times as the Kings took four penalties in the period.
Greene wasn't happy that Los Angeles allowed San Jose to put its dangerous power play on the ice so many times and wasn't looking for silver linings afterwards.
"That's four years ago. That's four years ago, when you could do that with this team," Greene told the Kings' website. "There's always a positive in every loss, and we've got to go out and play better, but this team is built to win. We can't be losing these games. We can't be giving the other team that many chances to beat us."
A loss tonight would give Los Angeles its first six-game slide since losing eight in a row from Dec. 12-26, 2007.
While the Kings continued their downward trend, the Predators ran their point streak to five games in a row with Saturday's 4-3 overtime victory against the Sharks. David Legwand scored his second goal of the game 2:53 into overtime and Pekka Rinne made 35 saves in his second start since signing a seven-year, $49 million deal on his birthday.
"It was a big two points for us," Rinne said after his club moved to 4-0-1 in its past five outings. Rinne made a big stop on San Jose's Joe Pavelski in the final minute of regulation to extend the game.
Legwand leads the Predators with 14 points and has three goals and three assists over his last four games. Patric Hornqvist, meanwhile, scored in the win to give him a goal in a career-best five straight games. He has six tallies in that span and is one shy of the club record for most consecutive games with a goal, first set by J.P. Dumont on Dec. 29, 2007-Jan. 8, 2008 and matched by Alexander Radulov on Jan. 21-Feb. 2, 2008.
Nashville had a season-high 35 shots in the win, but was still outshot for a league-high 12th time. The Preds played without Sergei Kostitsyn (lower body) and Kevin Klein (lower body), with both skaters a game-time decision for tonight.
The Predators lost three of four to the Kings a season ago, but have won six of their last seven at Staples Center.