Kings’ Muzzin on OT loss: ‘It’s a tough way, but I thought we played well.’

The good news is that the Los Angeles Kings earned a much-need point in the heat of a playoff battle. 

But the bad news is that it was only one. Overtime is always bad news these days. A 1-0 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Saturday night at the Staples Center was the Kings’ 13th overtime defeat of the season.

Like most things, free hockey sure is expensive in L.A.

"We played really well; tough nut to crack over there in (Marc-Andre) Fleury," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. "I don’t think there were a lot of chances either way, but there was a lot of good chances. That’s the way it goes."

Chances were pretty limited on both sides. The Penguins only had five shots on goal in the first period yet every shot seemed as though it was a legitimate scoring chance. The only time that Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick failed to accurately pick up the puck was in the first period on a shot that only Sidney Crosby could make. 

Crosby pushed the puck right off the skate of Drew Doughty as he blew past the Kings’ defenseman. But somehow, his shot hit the crossbar. 

The Kings played most of the game in the Penguins zone but Fluery dueled Quick until the end, stopping all 31 shots he faced.

"They come out pretty hard and knowing that we had played last night we expected them to really try to be physical early, and they were but I thought we weathered the storm pretty well," Crosby said. "(Fluery) was great for us at different points when they had momentum, especially in the third when you could tell that we were starting to wear down a bit he had to make some big saves. We stuck with it and we were pretty solid all the way through."

The Kings were solid all the way through too, until the overtime period began. 

After dominating the possessions most of the game, they suddenly found themselves in their own zone. It didn’t take much, just a bad giveaway in front of the net and Patrick Hornqvist – a thorn in the side of both Southern California teams dating back to his days in Nashville – had the puck in the back of it. 

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In games like this, it seems as though the Kings grind so hard to get to these overtime periods and then fail to stop one bounce. 

"I think that’s what it was tonight," said defenseman Jake Muzzin. "One lucky bounce and a quick transition, bing-bang, shot on net and then in. It’s a tough way, but I thought we played well."

Despite the score, there was no lack of action or fireworks in this contest. Maybe it’s a game to build off of on the next road trip. 

But the Kings are still one back of Calgary in the Pacific and two back of Winnipeg in the Wild Card. One is nice, two is what they need. 

"We want two, and I thought we played well enough to get two," Muzzin said. "We just didn’t get the goals. But we’ll take a point when we can get one."