The Los Angeles Kings were clearly impacted by having to play back-to-back games in their 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They looked gassed all night and were sloppy throughout. Looking at the schedule, this was always going to be a tough game for the Kings, so a loss shouldn't feel like the end of the world.
The Kings' carelessness with the puck from Friday's game carried over into Saturday. With the team struggling to cleanly break out of their zone.
This carelessness bit them five minutes in, as Sean Walker's errant pass was picked up by Nikita Kucherov, who fed Brayden Point in front. Point finished from in tight putting the Lightning up 1-0.
Just over a minute later, Sean Durzi's clear attempt was stopped by Nick Perbix, who fed Pierre Edouard-Bellemare in the slot. From there, Bellemare sniped Jonathan Quick to quickly go up 2-0.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan got the Kings back into the game at 10:12. Coming down the left wing Anderson-Dolan put a tame shot on net that squeaked through Andrei Vasilevskiy's body and into the net. An uncharacteristically bad goal from the Lightning netminder.
Five minutes later, the Lightning regained their two-goal lead. A shot from the point deflected off Matt Roy's stick right to Corey Perry. Who turned and shot the puck into an empty net.
Drew Doughty then took a penalty with 20 seconds remaining in the period. Leaving the Kings with 1:40 to kill in the second period.
The Kings continued to struggle in this game, looking slow on the second night of a back-to-back.
Tampa kept the Kings at arm's length for most of the period, eventually outshooting them 17-9.
The Lightning then extended their lead to three goals with five minutes remaining. Ross Colton was left wide open in front of the Kings net and picked up a rebound that he buried.
The Kings did get some life after Phil Danault's centering feed went off Ian Cole and past Vasilevskiy.
Down two heading into the third, the Kings have a mountain to climb against Tampa.
The Lightning were more than happy to sit back and defend their lead. Rarely committing too many players into the offensive zone and opting for the safe option on most plays.
With Vasilevskiy behind them, the Lightning were able to see out their three-goal lead with relative ease.
The Kings generated some offense, particularly off an early chance from the second line, but couldn't make any kind of breakthrough.
With four minutes left, Victor Hedman ended the Kings' hope of a comeback, wiring a slap shot from the point past Quick and into the net.
The Kings will be back in action Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.