It was 20 minutes that cost the L.A. Kings.
The Detroit Red Wings put up a four-spot on the defending champions in the opening period of Friday’s game, then played their way to a 5-2 victory, handing L.A. its third loss on this current five-game road trip.
During a stoppage in play, fans in Detroit stood up and cheered to show their support for Gordie Howe, who suffered a stroke on Sunday.
Jonathan Quick, who gave up all four goals on just 12 shots, remained in the game. He was perfect after that, as Detroit’s final goal came with an empty net.
Despite their efforts to chip away at the deficit, the Kings’ comeback hopes were eventually dashed. Jimmy Howard played a part, as he denied Dustin Brown on a weak penalty shot attempt in the third period, maintaining Detroit’s two-goal lead at the time.
So, what did Kings’ head coach Darryl Sutter have to say about the opening period?
“You know what? It’s not ‘concerning.’ What’s concerning about it?” Sutter asked, according to LA Kings Insider.
“I mean, you’re going to have leads and you’re not going to have leads. The bottom line is we’ve just played three in four nights, so they’re sitting there waiting. They’ve got four fast lines, six defensemen who can move the puck. They’re going to do that, and that’s what they did. They scored one on a couple power plays – they scored on every opportunity they had.”
Known for only giving one-word answers, or very brief answers, Sutter spoke at great length following this loss. The Kings have two games remaining on the trip – Sunday in Carolina and Tuesday in Dallas.
“I mean, quite honest, we’ve played some guys more than they’ve had to, some guys less than we’ve had to. It’s all part and parcel with what’s going on with our team right now,” Sutter continued, as per LA Kings Insider.
“It’s not a very consistent lineup and it’s hurt us. It’s cost us games. We talked about it when we had the long home stand that we were going to have a tough trip, and we had lots going on. We’ll win some. It’s not that hard to figure out. We’ll win some and we’ll lose some.”