The Ottawa Senators lost more than just a game Thursday night.
The Senators, already missing three defencemen, dropped a 3-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings and could be without two of their centres for a little while.
Ridly Greig suffered a lower-body injury early in the first period after he appeared to jam his right leg. Mark Kastelic left the game early in the second after he lost an edge and went down hard. He was also seen favouring his right leg.
Head coach D.J. Smith didn’t have an update but said they look to be doubtful for the next few games.
While the injuries were a factor, the Kings (6-2-2) did well to hold off the Senators after the home side cut the deficit to one.
“The mistakes we made that went in the net are just mistakes,” said Smith. “That isn’t talent base, that’s bad reads or not enough poise or what have you for us to win games, you can use short-handed (play) as an excuse, but that ain’t going to fix anything. We’re gonna have to be airtight defensively.”
Los Angeles (6-2-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead en route to its second straight win on a four-game road trip. Philip Danault tallied from in close just 3:11 into the game to open the scoring.
“Scoring on the first power play clearly put us on our heels and then the injury to Ridly and Kastelic back-to-back,” said Smith. “We had some short lines and we had some tired guys we stayed with it enough to have a chance at the end, but give them credit. They played really well.”
The Kings didn’t give the Senators much space and capitalized on their chances.
“The trust factor is high among linemates and pairs, the team as a whole,” said Kings head coach Todd McLellan. “We have a pretty good idea of how we need to play. Sometimes bounces don’t go your way, their second goal hits [Kopitar] in the face and a little bit of bad luck, but for the most part, I think we can play tight, uncomfortable games.”
The Kings took a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second period. Adrian Kempe picked up the puck at his own blue line, came down the wing and fed Carl Grundstrom, who beat former teammate Joonas Korpisalo, who stopped 35 shots.
Cam Talbot, who played for Ottawa last season, got the start in net for the Kings.
Los Angeles made it 3-0 midway through the second when Anze Kopitar was the beneficiary of an Andreas Englund rebound for his fifth goal of the season.
“That was a good game from our side tonight,” said Kempe. “Obviously they came back at the end and it was tighter than we wanted it to be. But I think we’ve had some games this year where it’s been a one-goal game at the end of the second period and I think we’ve been doing a really good job of that.
“Every line is managing the puck really well.”
The Senators got on the board with a late Dominik Kubalik power-play goal to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.
The late goal provided some optimism for the Senators going into the third.
“I think we would have liked to have been a little sharper in the second period and be a little bit more mature,” said Ottawa forward Josh Norris. “But we had a couple guys go down and guys had to step up and play some bigger minutes.”
The Senators made it a one-goal game when Norris tipped a Jacob Bernard-Docker shot early in the third, but couldn’t produce the equalizer.
“I don’t think the game was a bad game by any means,” said Ottawa defenceman Travis Hamonic. “But those are the close ones that you do need, especially at this time of year because they all matter and it matters at the end.”
It was the 300th career NHL game on the bench for Senators coach D.J. Smith. It was the 800th career game for Ottawa defenceman Travis Hamonic.
The Senators remain without three of their regular defencemen: Artem Zub (head), Thomas Chabot (hand) and Erik Brannstrom (concussion). The Kings scratched Tobias Bjornfot and Jaret Anderson-Dolan.
The Senators will host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. The Kings head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Saturday.