Los Angeles Kings Must Sort out Road Troubles to Stay Afloat

The Los Angeles Kings can’t seem to shake off their road woes in 2014-15.

Even a surging power play, which ranks eighth in the league and accounted for 14 goals over 14 games in December, has failed to mask the team’s persistent issues away from Staples Center.

After 38 games, L.A.’s road record sits at 27th in the NHL. Its home record, meanwhile, is good for third. That’s a worrying split. 

If the Kings can’t right the ship in enemy territory sooner rather than later, clinching a playoff berth in the Western Conference could become too steep a mountain to climb.


Poor Starts

For head coach Darryl Sutter’s club, the key to success is scoring first.

When L.A. manages to open the scoring, it’s 13-1-4 (13th) on the year. When the opposition nets the first goal, the Kings are a putrid 5-11-4 (24th).

Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to find the scoresheet before opponents of late, as NHL.com’s box scores indicate that they potted a single first-period marker while conceding six throughout their road games in December.

In 2014-15 overall, their goal differential is negative in the opening frame and positive in the following two. 

A minus-four mark might not strike anyone as noteworthy, but its importance swells when considering how the Kings fare in tight matchups. In one-goal games, they currently rank 29th in the league with a win percentage of 23.5.

That’s really, really bad.

Going forward, L.A. must set the tone early in its games, suffocating the other team with its puck possession while limiting gaffes on the defensive end.

Controlling shot attempts is nothing new to the Kings, who have gradually worked their way back up to third in the league in Corsi percentage. However, they've undermined this advantage by conceding q...

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