Kings rule listless Senators in L.A. clash

Now they have something to think about.

Kings rule listless Senators in L.A. clash

LOS ANGELES — Now they have something to think about.

Looking to rebound after a 2-1 loss in Anaheim on Saturday, the Ottawa Senators instead got buried 4-1 by the Los Angeles Kings.

It was so bad the Kings chased starter Craig Anderson after he allowed four goals on 26 shots through two periods. Alex Auld finished.

The Monday night game at the Staples Centre attracted a capacity crowd of 18,118.

The Senators play their last game before the all-star break on Tuesday in Phoenix. They’ll have a short night, because they lose an hour in time difference travelling from Pacific to Mountain time. But they’ll have to find the energy to avoid heading out on vacation on a three-game losing streak.

Jared Cowen said the obvious: The Senators have to be much better against the Coyotes.

“We came out a little bit flat,” he said.

“We were expecting to have a better game (Monday night) but they were every bit as good a team as we expected, and we just didn’t match their intensity.

“At times I thought we looked a little bit slow and unwilling to go to pucks.

“I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s just the schedule. I don’t think it’s helping us in that sense.

“But there’s no excuse for that. We have to be better in our next game.”

Penalties also hurt the Senators. They took five miniors. Los Angeles took four.

“It’s pretty hard to score goals when you’re killing penalties the whole time,” said Cowen.

“It wears on guys and makes it harder to score when you’re five-on-five.”

Willie Mitchell, Kyle Clifford, Jack Johnson, and Trevor Lewis, on a penalty shot, scored for the Kings.

Daniel Alfredsson, on the power play, scored Ottawa’s only goal. Erik Karlsson drew his 40th assist on it, putting him one behind league-leader Henrik Sedin.

Auld faced eight shots in his 20 minutes, while Quick faced 28.

In what was a closely played first period, the Kings emerged with a 1-0 when Mitchell’s high wrister from the left point beat a screened Anderson to the top right corner.

The Senators, who had one power-play chance, ended up outshooting the Kings 8-6 and had a number of good chances, but couldn’t dent Quick.

In the second period, however, the game went sideways.

The Kings scored three times, including once with a two-man advantage and once on a penalty shot to take a 4-0 lead.

Clifford started it at 11:08 when he was left without coverage to get to a rebound.

Kaspars Daugavins, who was two steps behind Clifford, banged his stick on the ice in frustration.

That seemed to wake the Senators, who seemed as if they might have another comeback in them.

But a couple of bad penalties by Bobby Butler, for hooking, and Zack Smith, for tripping, gave the Kings a two-man advantage for 1:11.

Johnson scored before Butler’s penalty ended, blasting a shot from above the right circle past Anderson while Dustin Brown jumped across Anderson to screen him.

Then came the killer, with only 32.9 seconds left.

When Chris Phillips’ touched the puck with his left glove in the crease, referee Tim Peel signalled a penalty shot. Lewis scored on it, moving to the right of Anderson and finding a spot under the sprawling goalie.

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean didn’t think it was a penalty shot.

“I thought it was a big part of the hockey game,” he said.

“We get the benefit of replay, and it shouldn’t have been a penalty shot.

“We get the benefit of replay one and two and three times. I don’t think it’s reviewable in Toronto on that kind of a call.

“That’s just the way it is.

“But having video means you get it right. If it’s not right, that’s why you should have video.”

Phillips was also obviously upset.

“Their explanation was that I did cover it,” he said.

“I was upset, because I thought I went in and just swiped it, which it looks like what happened.

“It’s frustrating when you’re struggling in a game and get some calls against you that you let affect you and the team. It’s tough.

“Emotions run high and sometimes get the best of you.

“That was a little bit of the case, too.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

GAME FILE

WHY THEY LOST: This time the hole got too deep. A five-on-three goal and a penalty shot capped a disastrous second period that sealed their fate.

STUD: Jonathan Quick. The Kings’ goalie only had to make a few difficult saves — like the glove save on Zack Smith in the third — but he stopped all of those and was beaten just once

DUD: Bobby Butler. Coach Paul MacLean was generous in giving him another chance on the No. 1 line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, but he was ineffective and took a bad hooking penalty in the second that led to the Kings’ third goal.

IRONY HITS HOME: After Monday’s morning skate, Jason Spezza was asked for his thoughts on wearing a hemet during the pre-game skate, as a precaution against accidents such as the one that befell Edmonton’s Taylor Hall. Spezza said when he was a kid he liked to see the players without their helmets, so he’d take his chances now. Whoops. During the pre-game skate, Spezza caught a puck over the right eye and had to leave for repairs. He was back for the game. No word yet on whether he’s changed his mind about pre-game helmets.

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