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Thursday, November 3, 2011
Kings: Searching for answers after latest loss

By Dan Arritt



LOS ANGELES—Kings coach Terry Murray chalked up the latest loss to "bad bounces” and vigorously denied that a lack of inspiration contributed to the 3-0 defeat Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center.

About five minutes earlier, Kings captain Dustin Brown sat slumped in his locker stall, trying to get a grip on the Kings third straight loss. He wasn’t so quick to defend the team’s effort, especially in the second period, when Edmonton scored twice to take a 2-0 lead.

“They dominated pretty much every aspect of the game,” he said.

Kings defenseman Jack Johnson witnessed plenty of effort on the ice, he just didn’t see many scoring chances, calling the Kings an “offensively challenged team.” The home crowd would probably agree, as they’ve seen one goal by the Kings in the last three games at Staples and that came off the stick of Johnson seven periods ago.

“One goal in three [home] games makes it pretty tough to win hockey games,” Johnson said. “We need to try and find a way to be a little more creative. We need to do something to try and create some offense.”

Johnson made similar observations during the team’s cold spell midway through last season, when they lost six games during an eight-game home stand. The Kings rely too much on dumping the puck into the offensive zone and retaining possession on the forecheck, he said at the time. He wanted to the Kings to use more speed and finesse to create chances.

“We’ve got a lot of great offensive players here, a lot of talent, but for some reason we are an offensively challenged team,” Johnson said Thursday night.

The Kings will get another chance to prove Johnson wrong when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.