On Thursday night, March 24, 2016 the Los Angeles Kings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Winnipeg Jets. This was the final game of a road trip which saw the Kings play three games in four nights, and lose every game, in regulation time. Though they still lead the Pacific division, their lead over the second-place Anaheim Ducks, is now just three points.
This was a tough loss. Playing without the services of forwards Vincent Lecavalier and Kris Versteeg, both of whom are listed as ‘day-to-day’, due to injury, the Kings outshot Winnipeg 14-4 in the first period, but could not get the puck by Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
In the second period, the Kings finally scored the first goal of the game, but wound up surrendering the tying goal, with less than two minutes remaining. Though the Kings outshot Winnipeg 15-10, the Jets’ late goal shifted the momentum. During the final twenty minutes, the home team outshot the Kings 10-5 and scored three unanswered goals.
While the Kings were feeling frustration in the province of Manitoba, the injury-depleted Anaheim Ducks were locked in mortal combat with the Toronto Maple Leafs, in the province of Ontario. The Ducks scored first, then allowed four straight goals, before then scoring four straight goals to retake the lead at 5-4. Toronto then tied the game with less than five minutes remaining in regulation time, before winning the game in overtime.
The Kings next game will be played against the Edmonton Oilers at STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles, on Saturday, March 26. The team will then travel to San Jose to face the Sharks on Monday, March 28 and return home to lock horns with the Calgary Flames on Thursday, March 31.
Pacific division race – The first-place Kings have 93 points, and eight regular season eight games remaining. The second-place Anaheim Ducks have 90 points and nine regular season games remaining. The third-place San Jose Sharks are now a longshot to win the division – they have 88 points and eight regular season games remaining.
March 24, 2016 – Final score: Winnipeg Jets 4, LA Kings 1. Final shots on goal: LAK 34, WPG 24. Power play: LAK 1/3, WPG 0/4. Three Stars of the game: 1) Ondrej Pavelec – WPG, 2) Mark Scheifele – WPG, 3) Blake Wheeler – WPG. Goaltenders: LAK – Jpnathan Quick, WPG – Ondrej Pavelec.
Kings forward line combinations:
Kings defense pairings: