From Kings to paupers

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

They're a young team with a lot of talent currently languishing near the bottom the standings - similar to the club they faced last night.

The Los Angeles Kings put up a good fight in a 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, in what turned out to be an entertaining contest between two non-playoff clubs.

But as has been the case all season, they were not rewarded for their efforts.

"We gave them a lot of opportunities and made it pretty easy for them to get their goals," lamented Kings winger Dustin Brown, who scored a pair of goals in the loss.

"Not many of their goals were because of them making great plays, it was more of us making bad plays. When you do that time and time again, with a skilled team and a good transition team like they are, they're going to capitalize on your mistakes."

The loss kept the Kings in the NHL basement stuck on 56 points. No team has lost more games than they have this season and only the Tampa Bay Lightning have fewer wins.

"When we made mistakes tonight they ended up in our net," said Kings head coach Marc Crawford. "If we eliminate some of the mistakes we made we could have won the game. You can't make big mistakes and we made some costly turnovers at crucial times of the game."

With their playoff hopes dashed a long time ago, the Kings are playing for next season and the seasons beyond that.

With players like Brown and Anze Kopitar who had a goal and an assist, the future looks bright.

Kopitar, 20, and Brown, 23, both increased their goal totals to 28 on the year.

Brown's first came on rebound in front. The second was a beauty, short-handed, firing a shot through the legs of Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert, off the post and in past goaltender Mathieu Garon.

"I think it was a one-on-two, so I was just trying to get a shot," Brown said.

"It was a tough shot for (Garon) to make the save - it went through the defenceman's legs, off the post and in."


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