After the 2nd period
Detroit Red Wings 4, Kings 1
The good: Only one other game in the NHL today, so the Kings won’t get passed by half a dozen teams if they can't stage a big-time comeback. Chicago defeated Minnesota, 4-2, in the other game, which matched two teams that came in two points behind the Kings in the Western Conference standings. That's about it for the positives.
The bad: If you like lightning quick, pinpoint accurate wrist shots, you’d love the one Pavel Datsyuk uncorked on the Kings with under a minute to play in the period. It was the second power-play goal of the game for the Red Wings. The Kings haven’t allowed multiple power-play goals in the same game since Jan. 17 at Dallas. They came in sixth in the league in penalty-kill percentage (84.4%) but that number will surely rise as Detroit is two for three on extra-man situations. The Kings haven't rallied from three goals down and won since last April against the Ducks.
The in between: If recent history is any indication, the Kings tend to play well for 12-15 games and then go on a major slide. The won 12 of their first 15 games this season, then lost seven of eight. They won nine of 12 to start December, then lost 10 of 12. They came into this game with an 11-1-3 record in their last 15, an even better clip then their franchise-best start, but now they’re playing as if they phoned this one in at about the seven-minute mark of the opening period. With three more Western Conference teams coming to Staples Center in the next week, the Kings can’t afford to get complacent.