LOS ANGELES — While it’s too early for the Kings to press the panic button, they might want to stop hitting snooze.
They fell to 0-2 for the young season with a 4-1 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night at Crypto.com Arena in another game in which the Kings lacked fluidity and failed to match the intensity of their opponents.
Winger Alex Iafallo accounted for the only goal and only point for the Kings. Defenseman Brandt Clarke made his NHL debut, playing 14:44 and nearly setting up a goal four-on-four in the third period. Jonathan Quick stopped 18 of 21 shots.
Wingers Jaden Schwartz and Brandon Tanev scored for Seattle, as did center Alex Wennberg and defenseman Adam Larsson (empty net) as the Kraken bounced back from a 5-4 overtime loss to the Ducks on Wednesday night in which they squandered a two-goal lead in the third period.
Goalie Martin Jones continued to vex his former team, making 28 saves to earn his 20th career win against the Kings, eight more than he has against any other franchise.
The final frame saw a melee at the end and a fight in the closing moments. Before that, the Kings killed off Seattle’s two-man advantage and later played two minutes with a six-on-four edge as they sought to erase a two-goal deficit. They failed to score and instead ceded the empty-net goal to Larsson.
The Kings fell behind further with just more than seven minutes left in the second period. As they surrendered a five-on-five goal an instant after technically having killed a penalty. Wennberg was left alone in front to receive the puck before pivoting to slip it between Quick’s legs. Seattle nearly scored again, this time shorthanded, when an unforced error gave Karson Kuhlman a breakaway that Quick negated with a sprawling effort.
Seattle’s forecheck gave it their second lead of the evening just over six minutes into the second period. Tanev powered out of the right corner and lofted the puck above Quick’s shoulder from in tight. It was Tanev’s first goal since Dec. 14, four days before he sustained a season-ending injury.
Late in the first period, Seattle applied pressure and appeared to score with six seconds remaining. The ostensible goal by center Matty Berniers was waived off for a high stick and nullified anew upon review.
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The Kings, who begin a five-game trip against Minnesota on Saturday night, pulled even off a bit of opportunism at the outset of a power play. Larsson controlled the puck after a faceoff and tried to rim it around the back of his own net. Iafallo intercepted his attempt and scored an unassisted wraparound goal at the 12:17 mark.
Seattle opened the scoring 5:21 into a first period that saw the Kings take two penalties in less than four minutes. Seattle cashed in on its second power play when headline free-agent acquisition Andre Burakovsky opened up Jordan Eberle with a cross-ice pass. Eberle let fly with a shot that generated a rebound, which was stuffed home by Schwartz.
Winger Viktor Arvidsson missed the game due to an illness, reinserting Brendan Lemieux into the lineup and bumping Carl Grundstrom up to the second line. … Clarke’s debut came at the expense of Sean Durzi, who had a rough outing in Game 1 even before he turned the puck over to initiate the game-winning scoring sequence for Vegas. … Winger Gabe Vilardi moved up to the top power-play unit … Seattle rookie center Shane Wright was a healthy scratch.
More to come on this story.