Joni Ortio only had to wait 19 seconds to face his first NHL shot, which he easily saved off the stick of Jared Stoll. It was the second shot that hurt. Kris Russell stumbled to the left of Calgary's net, losing control of the puck as Dustin Brown swooped in and poked it past Ortio, unassisted at the three minute mark. It was his 11th goal of the season, and the eventual game winner. Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, and TJ Galiardi were able to keep it in the Kings zone for just over a minute soon thereafter, generating two good chances on net and forcing the Kings into an icing penalty. Jiri Hudler fed Giriardi for a really good chance at the 8:00 mark, as TJ actually fell on Jonathan Quick trying to make something happen. David Jones missed a wide open net a few minutes later on a call that could have been goaltender interference on the Flames. The rest of the period played out with the teams trading chances but nobody striking gold.
First Period Observations
- Although the Flames spent a lot of time in the Kings zone early, Los Angeles seemed to control the flow of play.
- Calgary had several chances to score just after the midpoint of the period, including one time where Quick actually fell down behind the backstop, but were unable to convert.
- The Kings won 13-of-18 face-offs for the period, but trailed in hits by a nine-to-three margin. Galiardi and Jones each had three.
- Calgary took eight shots to seven for LA. The only player with multiple shots on either team was Stoll, who of course also scored the only goal of the period.
At the three minute mark, Stoll got two shots off against Ortio within five seconds from each side of the net, but Ortio proved up to the challenge, coming up strong each time. Five minutes later, Kris Russell and Sean Monahan each had a pretty good shot on Quick, who always plays like he's in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Flames. Backlund looked like he got tripped on a pretty good chance, but no penalty was called. Matt Stajan missed a blind shot on a wide open net by about four inches, then moments later Hudler was stoned by Quick on a one-timer. Drew Doughty flipped the puck over the glass for the first power play of the game for either team at 14:30. The Flames won the ensuing face-off and kept the puck in the zone for the entire two minutes, getting four shots on Quick - but still no dice. At the 18-minute mark, Jordan Nolan took a cheap shot at Brodie, earning a double minor and another Calgary power play for the rest of the period and the first two minutes of the third. LA cleared the puck four times while the Flames got off a couple of shots, mostly wide. Joe Colborne got called for Calgary's first penalty of the night with six seconds left in the period, leading to a two-minute four-on-four followed by a six second LA power play to open the third.
Second Period Observations
- Backlund and Mike Richards almost got into it at the 11 minute mark, but were broken up before war could be waged. The two were sent to the bench for each teams' first penalty of the game. No power play, no penalty kill, no special teams.
- Calgary owned the period, but sloppy play and close calls didn't do the Flames any favors.
- LA won nine-of-17 face-offs and led hits 7-to-2
- The Flames had 15 shots on goal to six for the Kings.
- Mark Giordano leads all players with four shots-on-goal.
After the four-on-four ended and the Kings went on their "power play," LA had the Flames pinned down in their own zone and peppered Ortio with three shots within 10 seconds, as the rookie stoned all three. Just after a face-off a moment later, Dwight King scored his 12th goal of the season with assists by Dustin Brown (8) and Jake Muzzin (14). Jones pinged it off the post on a great series of chances by the Flames just under a minute later. Slava Voynov tripped Backlund at the 6:15 mark, but the ensuing power play was anything but threatening as Quick continued to dominate the good guys. With five minutes left, Paul Byron had a moment where he looked ready to deke out everyone, out skating both LA defenders and almost surprising Quick with a chance to halve the lead, but you already know the rest of the story. Calgary pulled Ortio with 1:50 left. Backlund nearly had a good chance, and the Kings missed the empty net twice, but the score remained the same.
Third Period Observations
Calgary had a lot of "moments," but couldn't seem to put the pieces together for any tangible impact on the scoresheet.
Where have you gone, Hakan Loob?
Joni Ortio took the loss, but I think he earned another look.
Tonight's loss makes it impossible for the Flames to finish the season with more than 97 points, which means they need to finish in the neighborhood of 21-2-0 to make the playoffs. Yeah.
Thanks for reading our recap here at M&G. Check back here for the morning thread and other refinements tomorrow, don't forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and tune in for Calgary's next matchup, in Edmonton against the Oilers on Saturday 8PM MST.