As Todd McLellan put it Friday, "I sure the hell hope tomorrow our guys play." He said this referring to expecting a strong performance in honor of Alex Edler's 1000th game.
His request fell on deaf ears though, as the Los Angeles Kings fell 4-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers in an uninspired effort.
The Kings took an early lead with a power-play goal from Adrian Kempe but gave up the lead just a few minutes later with a power-play goal from Philadelphia.
Phil Danault gave the Kings the lead back 57 seconds later, a lead the Kings would take into the intermission. Despite leading after one, the Kings weren't at their best.
"We didn't have a lot of energy, for whatever reason," said McLellan. "Maybe that was the Colorado (game) and we weren't real polished. I think you guys watched that early, in the first ten minutes of the game we didn't connect on many passes. And when you don't have energy and you aren't connected you're just spinning your wheels in the mud. And it felt like we could never get it going all night. It felt like we had spurts of good play and then we'd fall off a little bit. We probably got what we deserved tonight."
The Kings couldn't find their game in the second and put together an even sloppier period, allowing the Flyers to tie the game at 2 after an Owen Tippet goal.
The third period was tightly contested until a Noah Cates shorthanded shot from just inside the blue line beat Jonathan Quick over the shoulder to put Philadelphia up 3-2. The Kings couldn't recover from this and Travis Konecny sealed the game with an empty netter at 19:33.
A common theme this season has been the importance of timely saves and the Kings couldn't get one Saturday. Instead, they dealt with an untimely bad goal against.
"He (Quick) made some good saves," McLellan said of Quick's performance. "It's what it is and whether it's Jonathan Quick or anybody else that's the way it goes. We have a ton of confidence in him, he's obviously done it a million times throughout his career and he'll continue to do it."
It was a very diplomatic answer from McLellan. Despite his assertation that the team is confident in Quick, their on-ice play tells a different story. The team looks less confident in front of Quick and he isn't doing anything to instill confidence in them. If there were any doubts about who the number one is in LA, they are surely gone after Saturday.
It also underlines a serious issue in net, having just one reliable goalie is not sustainable.
In more positive news, Quinton Byfield got his first extended look in the top six. Playing wing alongside Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe on the first line. Byfield couldn't find the scoresheet but looked good. He created a few chances and nearly scored on a rebound, with advanced metrics that point to a solid game.
Byfield's line finished with an 87.4% expected goals percentage, 68.8% Corsi and 75.0% Fenwick. They had the majority of chances and possession, but couldn't find the net.
"I thought Q (Byfield) had a little more jump tonight than in Colorado," said McLellan. "Now, in Colorado, he didn't get a lot of ice time early, so I thought his legs were good and he provided his linemates with a little bit of pace and speed. He had one really good look at the net, I think he deflected the puck up and out. Just like our team, there's progress that needs to be made there and he'll do it."
The Kings have tomorrow off and play again Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.