After losing a wild 9-8 overtime game to the Seattle Kraken that head coach Todd McLellan called “mass confusion,” the Los Angeles Kings return to action Thursday night when they host the Arizona Coyotes.
The 17 combined goals in Tuesday’s loss to Seattle made it the highest-scoring game of the season and marked just the 12th regular-season game with that many goals in the past 35 years.
“It’s a very, very confusing night for all of us,” McLellan said. “I’m really disappointed that we gave up nine goals, absolutely.
“On the other side of the coin, I’m glad that we fought back, got a point, and scored eight. So it’s mass confusion right now for all of us, and we better figure it out quickly.”
Things got even more confusing on Wednesday when the Kings cancelled their on-ice practice and media availability shortly after waiving goaltender Cal Petersen.
Petersen replaced Jonathan Quick midway through Tuesday’s loss and allowed four goals on just 16 shots. He is 5-3-2 with a 3.75 goals-against average but has a dismal .868 save percentage. He is in the first year of a three-year, $15 million contract that carries a $5 million cap hit for two more years.
Los Angeles had allowed a respectable total of 10 goals in its three previous games (1-1-1) before Tuesday. Quick departed 4:55 into the second period after allowing five goals on 14 Seattle shots.
On the bright side, the Kings continually battled back, scoring five game-tying goals.
They trailed the Kraken 8-6 midway through the third period before they scored twice to tie it and garner a point in the standings by sending the contest into overtime.
“(Tuesday) I feel like every mistake went in our net, every time,” center Phillip Danault said. “I guess it was just that kind of game. I’ve definitely never been a part of one like this. We got a big point, though, we came back and we kept believing in ourselves in the third.
“We have to learn from this,” Danault added, mindful that the Kings are 1-2-3 in their past six games. “If we want to be a winning team and go far in the playoffs, we have to work on it right now.”
Arizona, amid an NHL-record-tying 14-game road trip, has been off since a 4-3 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. This is the 11th game of the trip and before returning home, they will swing through western Canada to play at Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
The Coyotes are a respectable 4-4-2 so far on the trip, but they have lost six of their last seven games (1-4-2).
They return to Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 9 and will then play eight of their next 10 games at home.
Arizona made things interesting at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Wild, cutting a 4-1 deficit to one goal thanks to scores by Lawson Crouse with 3:18 left and J.J. Moser with 1:48 remaining. However, the Coyotes managed just one shot on goal the rest of the way.
“We knew we had to make a push late,” said Crouse, who leads the team with 10 goals. “We gave it all we had and came up one short. A good fight back from the group, but one short, so it doesn’t really mean much.”
–Field Level Media