Injuries finally appear to be catching up to the Winnipeg Jets, as they suffered their first regulation road loss in nearly two months their last time out.
The Jets have gotten that same result in most of their recent visits to Los Angeles, but they’ll face a Kings team that’s struggled of late Saturday night.
Winnipeg (20-14-7) has dropped four of five and saw its 5-0-3 road point streak snapped with Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Arizona, during which it allowed three power-play goals in five chances.
The Jets are missing four defensemen and forward Evander Kane, though they got defenseman Zach Bogosian back from a lower-body injury Thursday. He had missed 14 games since Dec. 3.
"I think, right now, we are a little bit up and down," goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said. "It’s not going to be easy. We’re going to L.A. and Anaheim (on Sunday). We play them back to back. We have some tough games in front of us."
Winnipeg has been outscored 33-18 in losing six of seven visits to Los Angeles, falling 4-1 on Oct. 12 for its third straight defeat there in the teams’ only matchup this season. The Jets have dropped three in a row overall to the Kings (19-13-9) and are 2-6-1 against the Pacific Division.
Their next Pacific matchup comes against a Los Angeles team that’s 1-2-2 in its last five. The Kings have opened a six-game homestand with back-to-back defeats, falling 4-3 to the New York Rangers on Thursday.
In the teams’ first meeting since the Stanley Cup finals, Los Angeles allowed the Rangers to score four unanswered goals to erase a 2-0 lead.
Los Angeles has allowed 11 goals in its past two games, its highest total in a span of that length since giving up 13 on Dec. 29 and 30, 2010.
"Four goals against yet again, for a team that prides itself on defense, is something inexcusable," forward Justin Williams said. "It’s something we’ve tried to clean up, and something we need to continue to do, because we’re not going to win games giving up chances like that."
Like Winnipeg, Los Angeles has struggled on the penalty kill lately, allowing four goals in the last seven chances.
"We seem to be in a funk, especially killing penalties," Williams said. "It’s not for a lack of trying. The guys are working their tails off, but … that’s a down for us now."
The Kings have also had plenty of trouble on the power play recently, going 0 for 4 on Thursday to leave them at 0 for 7 in the last two and 2 for 16 in the past five.
Anze Kopitar has scored three goals in the last two games against Winnipeg. He has four assists in his past two contests overall.