The Los Angeles Kings could have finished their yearly Grammy road trip on a high note by collecting points against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
Kings fall apart late
Instead, perhaps because of fatigue, the Capitals pulled away from the Kings to win 6-4. This was a particularly tough loss because whenever the Kings tied or led the game, the Capitals turned on the jets and pulled the goal needed to win.
A thrilling first period saw the Kings exchange four scores with Washington, as the two were tied at two. From there the Kings were outscored 4-2, with the Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov providing the bulk of the attack, who finished with two goals and two assists.
A positive for the Kings was the play of their third line. Austin Wagner scored two goals thanks to assists from Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis, who returned from injury, as they combined for five points.
Wagner set the right tone immediately after the game:
“Focus on the next game and be ready to go”
After getting seven points out of a possible 12 on the road trip all the Kings can do after a loss like this is focus on the next game.
Despite the positives of the road trip, the Kings continued to dismantle the team announcing trading Nate Thompson in the morning. With other moves likely to come, it would take a miracle for the Kings to catch the teams ahead of them for the final playoff spot.
Kings fans could want the front office to go all in and try to get that final spot, but the Capitals game showed how far they are from being competitive.
If LA makes the playoffs, their appearance could be short lived, just like last season when they were swept by the Las Vegas Golden Knights. If the Capitals could use their speed and skill to beat the Kings, it is likely a likely first round opponent will have little trouble with them.
All this summed up means that a successful Grammy road trip was really “too little, too late.”