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Kings fall flat in 4-0 loss to Blues

March 17, 2011 | 10:07 pm

Kings5
The Kings returned home to Staples Center on Thursday and fell flat in a 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Outhustled, outworked and outshot, 39-17, by a team playing for the second successive night, the Kings matched a season-low by taking only two shots in the opening period, turning the welcoming cheers of a sellout crowd of 18,118 into jeers of disappointment.

At most times of the season an emotional letdown like this could be dismissed easily. But with 11 games left on their schedule and the West playoff race agonizingly tight, the Kings might end up paying a high price for this lapse.

The Blues, out of the playoff picture realistically if not mathematically, played staunch defense to frustrate the Kings, who began the game fourth in the Western Conference. By game’s end the Kings were fifth and winless in their last three home games, starting with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver on March 5 and a 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas on March 7.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick, wasn’t sharp, getting beaten on a shot from just over the red line by Alex Pietrangelo on the Blues’ third goal, at 5:09 of the third, and on a fluttering backhander to his glove side by T.J. Oshie with 7:21 left in the third.

Matt D’Agostini scored the Blues’ first two goals, rebounding a shot by Adam Cracknell at 16:30 of the first period and slotting a shot between Quick’s left arm and the right post at 19:53 of the second period. The puck ricocheted off the twine and out of the net so quickly some fans weren’t sure what happened.

The Kings face the Ducks at home Saturday.

We'll have more soon at latimes.com/sports.

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-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings Coach Terry Murray watches from behind the bench during the Kings' 4-0 loss to St. Louis on Thursday. Credit: Kirby Lee / U.S. Presswire

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