The Los Angeles Kings have been frustrated by their poor effort on the power play so far after converting only one opportunity. However, their percentage could improve against a Colorado Avalanche team providing opponents plenty of man-advantage chances.
The Kings continue their five-game road trip Saturday night when they visit the Avalanche as both teams try to overcome injuries to key defensemen.
Los Angeles (4-2-0) had a three-game winning streak end with a 4-2 loss at Phoenix on Thursday. Wayne Simmonds(notes) scored twice, but Jonathan Quick(notes) put his team in a 3-0 hole early in the second period as he suffered his first loss of the season.
The Kings, who have one of the worst power-play percentages in the NHL after converting only one of their 22 opportunities, went 0 for 2 with a man-advantage while the Coyotes scored a short-handed goal in the second period. Last season, Los Angeles ranked seventh on the power play at 20.8 percent.
“Any shorthanded goals hurt,” captain Dustin Brown(notes), who has three goals and two assists but was held without a point for the second time this season, told the Kings’ official website. “They’re momentum changes. … If anything, you want to be coming out of the power play knowing that you had a few shots on goal and moved the puck around and kind of tilted momentum your way.”
Los Angeles was without defenseman Drew Doughty(notes), who suffered an upper-body injury in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Carolina. Doughty, who was second on the team last season with 59 points, is expected to miss at least a week.
“The guys who are playing, we’re not asking them to take on Doughty’s style of play,” coach Terry Murray said. “We want to keep everyone playing their own game and moving the puck.”
While Los Angeles has failed to convert with a man advantage the last five games, Colorado is among the league’s leaders in providing opponents with power-play opportunities.
Colorado (4-3-0) has been shorthanded 32 times—17 in the last three games. The Avalanche allowed two power-play goals in four opportunities in the second period of a 4-2 loss to San Jose.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost,” said defenseman John-Michael Liles(notes), who extended his point streak to open the season to a franchise-record seven games with a third-period assist, his ninth of the season. “We put ourselves in a bad position to start by taking penalties.”
Defenseman and captain Adam Foote(notes) is day-to-day after suffering a concussion in the first period. The 39-year-old has 253 points and tied with Sandis Ozolinsh(notes) as the team’s top-scoring defenseman in franchise history.
The Kings won three of four games between the teams last season and three of the four games went beyond regulation. Los Angeles has gotten at least one point in five straight games (4-0-1) versus Colorado.