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Kings fall to Senators

Curtis Zupke, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Hockey

LOS ANGELES -- The ingredients were there for the Los Angeles Kings to clean up with a victory at home.

They rolled out their fullest lineup in weeks, against a fellow last-place team that was missing key personnel. And they were looking to build off a tightly played divisional game from earlier in the week.

Yet those ingredients went wasted in a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Staples Center. In a contest between teams with a combined minus-66 goal differential going into Thursday, the Kings came up negative again. They suffered defensive breakdowns in the second period in getting swept by a combined 9-2 score in the season series against Ottawa, without second-leading scorer Matt Duchene.

"That's awful," Kyle Clifford said. "That's just embarrassing, to be honest. Not much more to say other than that."

The Kings didn't really make a formidable challenge in the third. Ottawa got 33 saves from goalie Anders Nilsson and, in a disconcerting reprise of the October meeting, simply had more desire.

"It starts from in here in the dressing room," Jake Muzzin said. "We need guys with more energy ... It was kind of dead in here and our play showed."

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With Alec Martinez back in the lineup, it left the once injury-ravaged Kings with only Trevor Lewis and Jonny Brodzinski unavailable. Coach Willie Desjardins said in the morning that, with a more representative lineup, "this next stretch is kind of a key stretch for us. We have to do well."

They didn't follow suit in an egregious second period that put them in a 2-1 deficit. Bobby Ryan grabbed his own rebound and scored at 14:59 on a power play gained from Nate Thompson's tripping penalty on Chris Tierney.

Thompson was beaten by Tierney along the boards twice on Ottawa's second goal, a shot that banked in off Jonathan Quick's right arm at 16:40. That ended nearly 95 consecutive shutout minutes for Quick.

From there, Clifford echoed Muzzin's assessment.

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