Kings Coach Darryl Sutter talks to his team during a timeout in the second… (Carlos Osorio / Associated…)
Not only have the Kings struggled in a big way on the road of late, losing their last six games, but it also has been a season-long issue.
They won two of their first seven on the road and would end up winning eight of 24 road games, finishing 8-12-4.
For perspective: They won two more road games in the playoffs last year (10-1) than they did in this lockout-shortened season. Edmonton, Columbus and Dallas all managed to record more road wins than the Kings this season.
"Once playoffs start, it's a totally different story," said Kings center Anze Kopitar after a 3-1 loss Wednesday in Detroit. "Obviously, it's not encouraging to throw away points like that late in the year.
"But regardless, winning games, not winning games, we're going to have to get to a whole different level during the playoffs. We all know that."
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter noted that it is going to take time for the pairing of defensemen Drew Doughty and Robyn Regehr to develop chemistry.
"Big-time," Sutter said. "It just doesn't happen."
For all that went wrong in Minnesota and Detroit, Sutter had no concern about his goaltending. Jonathan Bernier started at Minnesota and Jonathan Quick made 33 saves against the Red Wings.
Sutter used the word "outstanding" to describe the back-to-back performances and then used his go-to, higher form of praise, saying: "It was awesome."
The second game of captain Dustin Brown's two-game suspension is the regular-season finale against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at Staples Center.
In Detroit, Brown spent most of the game working out, saying: "I've been trying to stay busy … I don't like watching."
His suspension was for an elbow to the head of Minnesota forward Jason Pominville in the second period Tuesday at St. Paul. The Wild did not skate Wednesday and Pominville did not practice Thursday with his teammates.