The Kings, holding the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, faced one of the bottom teams in the Eastern Conference. Anze Kopitar and Carter both scored to give the Kings a 2-0 lead about halfway through the game, but the Sabres then scored four goals in six minutes to take a two-goal lead. Carter scored again four minutes into the third period, but the Sabres added two more goals late in the period to run away with the game.
Afterwards, Carter voiced his frustration:
“It was just terrible hockey,” Carter said. “We come on a seven-game road trip, 1-0 after the first, 2-0, get a bad bounce and we just f—— shut down. It’s been going on a while. Our second periods have not been good and they’ve been killing us and it’s everybody. It’s top to bottom. It’s unacceptable. You don’t make the playoffs winning games at home and then going on the road and s——- the bed.
“We’re fragile. We’re a fragile team. You get one bad bounce against you…they’ve got good players over there. They’re going to have shifts in our end. We get running around, we lose coverage…we’ve been doing it all year. Home, away, everywhere. It’s time we take a big look in the mirror here because these next six games are pretty crucial.”
The Kings have scored and allowed 30 goals in the second period this season.
Prior to setting out on their nine-game road trip, the Kings had lost two of three (one in a shootout) at home. They have eight more games on the road before they play San Jose at home on New Year’s Eve, although they will get a four-day break for Christmas.
The Kings have to play the Red Wings and Penguins on back-to-back nights next, the Bruins, Blue Jackets, then the Predators and Stars on back-to-back nights and the Canucks and Oilers on back-to-back nights.