Drew Doughty

Kings blame themselves for loss, but aren’t distraught


After losing Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist lamented that the Rangers weren’t getting any puck luck.

Tonight it was the Rangers that seemed to get the big breaks, but Kings captain Dustin Brown didn’t want to blame their 2-1 loss on that.

“We make our own bounces,” Brown said, adding that the team wasn’t good enough to win this one, according to NHL.com’s Cörey Masisak.

Drew Doughty echoed Brown’s sentiments when asked if he was frustrated about the puck that stopped just before the Rangers’ goal line late in the game.

“Yeah, there’s two of them like that and two of them where we should have been better around the net and two of them that we should have put in,” Doughty said, per LA Kings Insider. “Those were the difference in the game. We had tons of opportunities. We should have scored more goals and that’s really the only reason we lost.”

Fortunately for them, they put themselves in a position where they’ll get another chance to win it all on Friday. And if not, there’s always Monday. Or next Wednesday.

“We wanted to close it out tonight, and we didn’t do it,” Anze Kopitar said. “But now we’re going home, and we’re going to try to close it there.”

That’s the nearly insurmountable thing about a 3-0 series deficit. For every 2014 Kings, there are literally 78 squads that couldn’t overcome that disadvantage. The New York Rangers are the 115th of 317 teams that have won Game 4 when down 3-0 and only four of those other teams actually completed their comeback, per WhoWins.com.

So there’s no reason for the Kings to be too down on themselves, especially after they out shot New York 15-1 in the third period.

“We have full confidence in this team, in our team no matter what,” Doughty said. “We had an OK effort tonight, but OK isn’t good enough against this team. So now we just need to come out with our best effort of the series. And if we do, I’m pretty confident that we will win that game.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record

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When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.