DALLAS -- This swoon isn't quite as dire as when the Kings dropped four straight games, watched one coach get fired and lost another game under an interim coach.
That's when Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi placed a phone call to Canada and tracked down Darryl Sutter in Viking, Alberta. Sutter completed some of his duties on the ranch and arrived on the scene just before Christmas in 2011.
Not all losing streaks are created equal.
Still, this one is the longest in Sutter's wildly successful Kings' tenure. The Kings have dropped four straight games in regulation, this one a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center as they allowed two power-play goals.
"We're an experienced team and we're going to have to snap out of it," said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who scored his 13th of the season, cutting the deficit to 3-2 at 1:05 of the third period.
"There's no other way around it. We've lost four now and we're going into a tough building [in St. Louis] in a couple of days and maybe that's what we need."
Sutter assessed the game with a blend of optimism and several pointed observations.
"I thought we played really well," Sutter said. "We got a little bit of a bad break on the second goal and you know what, we're not scoring any goals right now…. Other than the game before Christmas, we easily could have won the last three."
The bad break he was referring to was the third goal of the game, and the Stars' second goal. Tyler Seguin broke a 1-1 tie from a sharp angle at 12:13 of the second period on the power play, banking the puck off the left leg of Kings goalie Ben Scrivens. Alex Chiasson's shot careened wide off the end boards to Seguin down low.
"There's some stuff I've got to clear up in my game," Scrivens said. "I've got to be able to make it back to that post a little quicker."
The Kings did not settle down after the Seguin goal and Dallas capitalized, scored about three minutes later to make it 3-1 on Erik Cole's second goal of the game.
"You know what, our goaltending has leveled out," Sutter said. "When you're not scoring goals … we're not a team that scores a lot of goals. You need more than average goaltending.
"The second goal tonight is not a great goal whether it's off the boards or whatever it is, you've got to make those [saves]. That's part of what the best goalies in the league do."
Along those lines, there was a development in terms of the Kings' No. 1 goalie, Jonathan Quick. Quick suffered a strained groin seven weeks ago in Buffalo, N.Y., and is scheduled for a rehabilitation assignment with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings' minor-league affiliate.
If all goes well, Quick would play two games in a three-game stretch with the Monarchs, starting Friday in Binghamton, N.Y. Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake said Jack Ferreira, special assistant to Lombardi, would be on hand to evaluate Quick.
It makes more sense for a goalie to go to the minors for a rehab assignment because a forward can be eased back into the lineup with limited minutes. Quick has been out for close to two months. And Sutter noted the Kings' hectic schedule has made it difficult for Quick to get the necessary practice time to get ready to return to the NHL fray.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other issues to occupy Sutter and his staff until Quick comes back.
One includes the lack of offense from captain Dustin Brown.
"Yeah, it is off," Sutter said. "He scored seven goals in  games. So I would say his scoring is off. Based on that he's a 14-goal scorer. It's not enough."
Center Mike Richards too has struggled, in particular, at Nashville and Chicago. Sutter noted his improvement against the Stars, boosted by linemates Brown and Justin Williams.
"He was really good tonight," Sutter said. "I think getting him with Brownie and Willie … once we moved Jeff [Carter] with [Kopitar] it was hard…. Mike was trying to get other guys going and it probably took a little bit from his game.
"And we're not getting much, in terms of opportunities, from our third and fourth lines."