LOS ANGELES -- Some losses sting a lot more than others. For the Carolina Hurricanes, this was one of those losses.
The Canes lost a two-goal lead Friday. They lost a defenseman to injury. In the end, they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime 4-3 at the Staples Center, which had been mostly silent much of the game.
Michal Handzus, who began the game with a goal in the first minute, ended it for the Kings. His goal at 3:21 of overtime gave Los Angeles its second straight win and the Canes a second straight loss.
For the Canes, a strong second period was for naught. Carolina, down 1-0 after the first, got goals from Ryan Bayda, Dan LaCouture and Matt Cullen to seemingly take charge only to have the Kings rally and win.
"When you're up 3-1, there's no reason you should lose the game," Bayda said. "For whatever reason we came out a little flat in the third and they were jumping."
The Canes lost defenseman Frantisek Kaberle in the second period when Kaberle blocked a shot by Kyle Quincey. Canes coach Peter Laviolette said Kaberle may have suffered a foot fracture.
In the second, Bayda scored off a deflection of a Niclas Wallin shot and LaCouture redirected another Wallin shot for a score. Cullen scored when an Eric Staal shot from the slot appeared to hit off his skate and elude Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera.
Getting all the bounces? Canes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg didn't think so.
"We earned those bounces," Seidenberg said. "We got the puck to the net and we had guys in front of the net screening. When you do that, you get those kind of bounces."
But the Kings got a timely goal from with two minutes to play in the second on Dustin Brown's 35-foot blast from the slot. That made it 3-2 and woke up a slumbering crowd of 14,194.
"That closed it to one and maybe gave them a little bit of momentum," Laviolette said. "We talked about coming out and trying to be strong and staying on our toes and on the attack in a third period and we didn't. We were sitting back a little bit too much and they evened it up."
Anze Kopitar's goal at 10:41 of the third, on a backhand, tied the score 3-3.
"The first two periods we were pretty good and we came out in the third flat for some reason," Canes forward Brandon Sutter said. "For whatever reason we sat back in the third and let them back in the game."
The Canes had a chance to win with 3:38 left in overtime. On a two-on-one rush, Whitney made a crisp pass to Staal breaking in from the left, but LaBarbera knocked away Staal's backhand.
Handzus then got the puck after a Carolina turnover, skated in and wristed a shot past goalie Cam Ward.
"We had an opportunity and didn't bury it and they had an opportunity and buried it," Laviolette said.
Canes forward Zach Boychuk made his NHL debut and had 9:21 of ice time in the first two periods. Boychuk did not play in the third.
"I thought it was fine," Laviolette said of Boychuk's play. "It's a lot for a young kid coming in. I thought he did a good job.
"We trimmed it down to three lines in the third period and it limited his ice time after the second, but it was a good starting point for him, I think."
The Canes were unable to score on five power plays against the Kings, who have killed off all 19 penalties this season.
Both teams had their chances at the end of the third. Staal had a pair of short-handed shots, and Rod Brind'Amour and Matt Cullen nearly teamed up on a go-ahead goal, with LaBarbera making a key save.
Handzus scored 56 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead that stood up the rest of the first. Wayne Simmonds chased down the puck after a collision with Joni Pitkanen in the Canes' zone, then passed to Handzus sweeping in on goalie Cam Ward.
"It's happened a couple of games now where we've come out and we've given the other team something," Laviolette said. "On the road, you really need to keep it simple in the first period. It was just a mistake that happened and it ended up in the back of our net."
The Canes' third goal initially was credited to Cullen, then given to Whitney, then back to Cullen in a flurry of scoring changes.
"Things didn't go our way in the third," Sutter said. "I don't think we competed hard enough to win in the third."
Staal was taken to the locker room after suffering what appeared to be a right shoulder injury 10 minutes into the game. He returned to the bench late in the first period and was soon back in the game.
The Canes will face the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday in the second of six straight road games before returning to Raleigh.