Kings' offense fizzles again in 1-0 loss to Columbus
Until now, Darryl Sutter has been a kindly, encouraging figure behind the Kings’ bench, surprising observers who anticipated he would blister his new team at every opportunity. He might be ready to show them his angry side any moment.
Lifeless on the power play and still unable to generate much offensively, the Kings opened the second half of their season Saturday with a 1-0 loss to the 30th-ranked Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center. The loss represented the first time in Sutter’s nine games as coach that the Kings did not earn a point and the first time in 10 games overall that they didn’t gain a point in the standings.
The Kings took 28 shots against Columbus goaltender Curtis Sanford but he gave them few rebounds and was in command throughout the game. They have scored two goals or fewer in regulation time in 19 of their last 21 games, a failing that continues to cost them as they jockey for playoff position.
The Kings were unable to capitalize on eight power plays that covered 13 minutes 36 seconds’ worth of power-play time, including a five-on-three edge early in the third period and a six-on-four advantage they created after Columbus was penalized for delay of game and the Kings replaced goalie Jonathan Quick with an extra skater. Columbus began the game ranked 29th in the NHL in penalty killing.
Columbus scored the only goal at 11:25 of the second period, a few seconds after the Kings had killed a penalty. David Savard, at the point, passed to Derick Brassard, whose cross-ice pass found Grant Clitsome venturing in from the point. Quick couldn’t move quickly enough to his right to stop Clitsome’s rising shot.
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Photo: Kings defenseman Jack Johnson (3) tries to keep Blue Jackets left wing R.J. Umberger from the rebound after goaltender Jonathan Quick made a save in the first period Saturday afternoon at Staples Center. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images