Kings seek to reverse course vs. Canadiens

The Los Angeles Kings continue to look for a light at the end of the tunnel in their quest to turn the franchise around, but they keep stumbling down the same dark path as last season.

The Kings are 1-5-1 in their past seven games heading into the finale of their three-game road trip on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens, and their 5-10-1 overall record matches last season's mark after 16 games.

The Kings went on to finish with the second-fewest points (71) in the NHL last season.

"I don't think anybody in this room wants to be playing to lose," Kings forward Tyler Toffoli said. "We're playing to win games. We're frustrated, and we want to be winning games."

Toffoli scored the tying goal with eight seconds left in regulation Thursday night, but the Ottawa Senators scored in overtime for the 3-2 win.

Further darkening their spirits was the loss of veteran forward Trevor Lewis to a lower-body injury early in the game.

Lewis, in his 12th season with Los Angeles, was scheduled to be further evaluated on Friday, but the Kings had a scheduled day off so his status won't be made public until game day.

There's also concern for defenseman Drew Doughty, who appeared to injure his left leg at the end of the second period on Thursday. He played the third period and overtime, a total of 27:37, but told reporters afterward that he was "very sore."

Doughty, who won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman for the 2015-16 season, hasn't missed a game since the 2013-14 season, playing in a club-record 426 consecutive contests.

The Canadiens also are coming off a 3-2 overtime road loss on Thursday night.

Sean Couturier scored 55 seconds into extra time to give the Philadelphia Flyers the win over Montreal.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price likely will start against the Kings after making 40 saves against the Flyers, several on grade-A scoring chances, earning the 13-year veteran first star of the game honors.

"We want to do better for our goalie," Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot told reporters after the game. "He was the best player on the ice."

Price most recently faced the Kings on March 5 in Los Angeles and made 26 saves to earn his 314th win with Montreal, tying Jacques Plante for the all-time franchise lead, a mark he since has broken.

Another bright spot from Thursday was the penalty kill for the Canadiens.

They killed all six penalties after coming into the game with the second-worst penalty kill in the NHL.

"Our penalty kill (against the Flyers), and our goaltender allowed us to get a point," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "If it wasn't for them, we would have walked out of here with nothing. So give them credit. Hard to get the five-on-five going when you're killing (penalties) all night."

Montreal also might have center Jesperi Kotkaniemi back in the lineup after he missed the past four games with a groin injury.

Kotkaniemi, the third-overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, had two goals in the first three games, but added just one assist in the next nine.

--Field Level Media
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