FINAL – Kings 1, Kraken 4 – Clarke, Danault, McLellan

The Kings were unable to even their record on a season-opening, two-game homestand, with a 4-1 defeat against the Seattle Kraken.

The Kraken opened the scoring on the evening with an early power-play goal. On the second of two penalties within the first four minutes of the game, forward Jaden Schwartz cashed in on a rebound from close range, after a good save from Jonathan Quick, to open the scoring.

The Kings responded with a power-play goal of their own just over two minutes later, through forward Alex Iafallo. Just four seconds into the man advantage, Iafallo stole the puck behind the Seattle net, wrapped it around on the forehand and beat Seattle netminder Martin Jones to the far post for the tying goal. Iafallo has two points in as many games to open the season.

Seattle struck twice in the second to take a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes. First, as forward Brandon Tanev drove the net out of the corner, he collided sticks with Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson, with the puck shooting upwards and over Quick’s shoulder for the go-ahead goal. Late in the period, the Kraken struck again, as forward Alex Wennberg converted from close range to make it a 3-1 game.

Although the Kings applied a push in the third, the team was not able to find the back of the net, before defenseman Adam Larsson picked the empty net for the 4-1 final.

Hear from Phillip Danault, Brandt Clarke and Todd McLellan following tonight’s game.

Brandt Clarke

Phillip Danault
On tonight’s game compared to Game 1
We have some work to do. We’re not playing a full 60 minutes, we’re sloppy with passes and the details and we have to capitalize as well. It’s not that we’re not trying, we tried really hard today, but it’s not enough. We’ve got to start better.

On tonight’s game compared to Game 1
Obviously you want to get a win, get going and it’s not even just about winning, it’s about the team game. I don’t think we’re on point at all, we aren’t moving fast enough, or playing the way we should be.

On the team’s passing tonight and what was lacking
It’s all around, it’s not somebody in particular, everyone has to step up their game. We have to pack our bags, go on the road and go into the war zone. We’ve got to get a win going and get back on track.

On if an early-season road trip can be helpful coming off of two losses
Yes, definitely. I think this is going to be good for our team. We have a couple of new guys here, so this is going to be much needed.

Todd McLellan
On the positives and negatives from tonight’s game
We played much better defensively than we did in game one. We kept a heavy, hard team to 16 shots on goal at even strength. Our penalty kill did a really good job in a lot of situations, I know we gave up a goal, but the 5-on-3 was really positive. You know, there are some things that we have to take from that game and look at it positively. The negative side, we’re a minute and a half in and we have too many men on the ice penalty. Game management. Three o-zone penalties tonight, game management. It’s something we’ve been harping and harping on and those are essentially impossible situations to practice, so they’ve got to take care of it.

On the team’s passing tonight and if it was passers, receivers, or all around
Little bit of both. They’re a scrappy team, they get in the way a lot, heavy, hard sticks, a lot of battles, a lot of crap coming out of the bottles. There’s rarely anything clean when you play against them and when you do have the opportunity, I think we created more in the game, believe it or not, than what showed up on the scoreboard. The simple fact is, we didn’t want to shoot the puck, we wanted to be over-creative. I think of 2-on-1’s, I think of 3-on-1’s, I think we had almost a 4-on-1 and we didn’t get any shots off. It’s just too cute. When we’re playing well, I think you could kind of feel it in the third, we started to put some pressure on, we shot the puck, we got it back and got them out of position but a little too cute right now. We’re still trying to figure out who we are.

On if switching up the forward lines was just reflective of the score, or if he wasn’t liking something with his existing groups
I think the answer to both of those is yes. Reflective of the score and not liking what we’re seeing there, combinations of players were a little bit flat, there wasn’t a lot going on. We haven’t shuffled the deck a lot, potentially could wake the group up a little bit by shuffling it and trying to find maybe a combination that gave us more life.

On Brandt Clarke in his NHL debut
You know, we dressed six defenseman tonight, I know he wasn’t six, pretty sure he wasn’t five and I don’t believe he was four either. So, that’s what I thought of him, I thought he had a real good night. He didn’t hurt us at all defensively, creative offensively. I’d like to see him shoot the puck a little bit because I think he’s got a great shot and he loves to pass but he had some real good looks at the net where he could have shot the puck.

On the balance between not overreacting to two games, and not letting a losing streak linger
Well, it’s a losing streak to start the season already, because we’re at two and we haven’t put one on the board yet, but it’s early. As I said, we’re trying to figure out who we are, how do we want to play the game? For the media that was there this morning or yesterday, it doesn’t happen automatically, you get to recreate yourself every year. The reference point that we had after game one was last year, now we have six periods in the bag and much better defensively today. Gave up far fewer opportunities than we did against Vegas, but still many things to work on. We didn’t put the points in the bank, but as I mentioned earlier, there were positive things to build on.

Notes –
– Forward Alex Iafallo scored his first goal of the season and is the only Kings player with points in each of the first two games of the season (1-1-2).
– Defenseman Brandt Clarke (19 years, 246 days) made his NHL debut, becoming the 32nd teenager to play for the Kings. In doing so, he is the fourth teenager to make his NHL debut under Todd McLellan, joining Tobias Bjornfot (18 years, 182 days), Quinton Byfield (18 years, 252 days) and Arthur Kaliyev (19 years, 221 days).
– Clarke logged 15:17 in his NHL debut and collected one shot on goal.
– Defenseman Matt Roy led the Kings with five shot attempts, while Arthur Kaliyev led the way with three scoring chances and Alex Iafallo topped the charts with two high-danger chances.

The Kings are scheduled to hit the ice tomorrow morning at 10 AM, before the team leaves for Minnesota to begin their first road trip of the season.

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