LOS ANGELES—The leadership group of captain Dustin Brown and alternates Anze Kopitar and Matt Greene huddled together immediately following the 7-4 loss Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
The crux of their conversation remained behind closed doors, but it was clear when they emerged they weren’t pleased that an otherwise positive day for the Kings came to a solemn end.
“They dominated every facet of that game,” Greene said. “That’s not the words. They embarrassed us. You can’t take anything positive away from this game.”
The Kings came in knowing they would soon welcome a key addition to their team. Dustin Penner was traded to Los Angeles from Edmonton earlier in the day, giving the organization a proven goal scorer at left wing.
On top of that, Justin Williams received a four-year contract extension, securing the team's most skilled right wing.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said the addition of Penner was meant as a gift for the team’s stellar play since pulling out of 2-10 skid by going 11-1-3 in their next 15. The Kings had a funny way of showing their appreciation.
Or maybe they’re just holding on until Penner arrives.
Either way, the leadership trio wasn’t smiling.
“This video is going to be a good learning tool for a lot of guys on this team to realize what it takes to be a good team,” Greene said. “What the difference is between an elite team and good team in this league is.”
Greene cited a lack of preparation heading into the game, and not being able to bounce back when things went wrong. After taking a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the game, the Kings allowed seven unanswered goals.
"The game got out of hand," Brown said.
Jonathan Quick allowed six goals on 24 shots before he was lifted in favor of Jonathan Bernier, who quickly allowed another goal. Kings coach Terry Murray said he thought about pulling Quick after the first goal, a side-angle shot that he missed with his stick, allowing the puck to trickle through his legs.
“You have to have your goaltender on top of his game anytime you play Detroit,” Murray said. “He had a real tough game here today.”
The Kings will need to bounce back Thursday against visiting Phoenix, another team that's ahead of them in the Western Conference standings.
"This time of year you can't sit there and feel bad for yourself," Brown said. "We have another game Thursday."