RALEIGH, N.C. — Ziggy Palffy delivered the first bit of bad news to the Kings after the pregame warmups Sunday, declaring himself unable to play against the Carolina Hurricanes because of back spasms.
Sami Kapanen delivered the last, scoring a power-play goal 93 seconds into overtime to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 victory in front of 14,355 in the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
In between, there was more bad news for the Kings--Adam Deadmarsh suffered a mysterious injury that kept him sidelined for the third period--but enough resolve from his team to keep Coach Andy Murray looking on the bright side.
"I think we want to look for some positives out of the game," Murray said. "We came into the game with some guys who were bruised up a little bit, some guys that played that were hurting a little bit. They sucked it up and we got a point. I think we have to recognize how hard we played. This is a very good team we played. We're not happy losing, but there's a degree of satisfaction with how hard we played."
On the other hand:
* The Kings (3-6-1-2) have lost eight of their first 12 games for the first time since the 1987-88 season, when they finished with a 30-42-8 record.
* Seven of their losses have been by one goal, two in overtime.
* Their longest trip of the season still is not finished. They are 1-3-0-1, with one more game to play Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
* They have lost three consecutive games, having scored only four goals, since defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 7-1, last Tuesday night.
* Their new all-star center, Jason Allison, has one point in three games as he continues to round his way into shape after a five-week holdout and Wednesday's trade from the Boston Bruins.
"It's a work in progress," Murray said of Allison's transition.
* Aaron Miller, one of their top defenseman, is home in Los Angeles after leaving the trip because his back spasms did not respond to treatment.
* Palffy's back is hurting, though he said he would play Tuesday night.
* Deadmarsh is hurting, though it was unclear how or where he was injured. The usually affable winger, whose fourth goal of the season gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the first period, was tight-lipped afterward, saying he couldn't talk much about the injury but revealing that he had suffered it in the first period.
Murray also had no answers. Deadmarsh will be evaluated today.
* Bryan Smolinski (back) and Mattias Norstrom (ribs) are playing with injuries.
"It's not time to get discouraged," goaltender Felix Potvin said. "It's frustrating, but not discouraging. We've got a long time to turn this around."
Sunday's game turned sour for the Kings only 50 seconds into overtime, when Smolinski was called for boarding Jeff O'Neill.
"I was surprised the way O'Neill embellished it," Smolinski said. "I barely hit him and he made it look like he'd been killed....
"What are you going to do? It happens. It was bad timing. There was nothing I could do. I was already at him. I couldn't avoid him. He was sideways when I was going at him and as soon as I hit him he turned into the boards, which was probably the momentum or something.
"But he was the one who got the ball and I was the one in the box. I take responsibility for the loss. It was my poor judgment."
Murray said it was a questionable call.
"It looks like he takes a dive, kind of feels the pressure on his back and flies into the boards," he said of O'Neill. "He did that a couple times. I guess we put ourselves in the position to have the penalty called on us, but in our opinion it was somewhat suspect. The referee saw it differently."
Paul Maurice, the Hurricane coach, said it looked to him like a makeup call after new King Mikko Eloranta, a left wing acquired in the Allison trade, was not cited by the referees after tackling Hurricane winger Bates Battaglia in front of the net with about two minutes to play in regulation.
"They kind of got forced into that call," Maurice said of the overtime penalty, which gave the Hurricanes a four-on-three advantage.
The Hurricanes had converted only one of their previous 45 power-play opportunities, but they wasted little time scoring.
O'Neill assisted on the winning goal, scored on a one-timer by Kapanen from the right circle.
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Odd Ones Out
\o7 The Kings (3-6-1-2) lost another one-goal game Sunday, making them 1-7 this season in games decided by a goal.\f7
SundayCarolina 3, Kings 2
Oct. 27 Florida 3, Kings 2
Oct. 21 Detroit 3, Kings 2
Oct. 17 Washington 3, Kings 2
Oct. 14 Tampa Bay 1, Kings 0
Oct. 12 KINGS 6, St. Louis 5
Oct. 10 Dallas 2, Kings 1
Oct. 8 Minnesota 4, Kings 3