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The Los Angeles Kings will try to rebound from their largest margin of defeat at home in nearly 10 years when they host the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center on Monday.
The Kings lost 7-2 to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon to fall out of a playoff spot with 14 games remaining.
Los Angeles (37-26-5) came into the game holding the second wild card from the Western Conference and could have moved into a tie for second in the Pacific Division with a win, but the Kings gave up five straight goals after cutting the deficit to 2-1 at 13:13 of the second period.
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The Colorado Avalanche had won earlier in the day to overtake the Kings by one point for the second wild card. Los Angeles also trails the Anaheim Ducks by one point for third in the Pacific Division and the second-place San Jose Sharks by two points.
The last time Los Angeles lost by at least five goals on its home ice was 7-2 against the Dallas Stars on March 29, 2008.
“We’ve got to handle this as we handle every game,” Los Angeles defenseman Dion Phaneuf said in the locker room after the game. “When you get beat like this, you take it, you stand, you look at it, and then you move forward. The bottom line is that we’ve got to come back and build ourselves up (Sunday). We’ve got to get ready to play on Monday and we’ve got to move forward.”
The Kings received a few glimmers of good news over the weekend.
The Sharks lost in regulation to the Washington Capitals shortly after the Kings lost to St. Louis. The Calgary Flames lost in regulation to the visiting New York Islanders on Sunday to remain one point behind the Kings, and the Stars lost in regulation to the Pittsburgh Penguins to stay three points in front of the Kings in the first wild-card spot.
PODCAST: With March almost half-way over, it’s time for Bark Madness! Listen in as @theroyalhalf joins @KingsMenPodcast to discuss this year’s tournament.https://t.co/AKJ3UNgcS2
— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 12, 2018
Entering Monday, four teams in the West are within three points of being outside the playoffs, while three other teams, including the Kings, are within three points of being in the top eight.
“We’ve just got to decide as a group where we’re going to go from here,” Los Angeles coach John Stevens said. “It’s tough hockey at this time of year.”
The Canucks (25-35-9) are out of the playoff hunt and still adjusting to the loss of leading scorer Brock Boeser, who will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a small fracture in his lower back in a 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders on Monday.