The Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings entered Sunday night’s game with two different mindsets. For the Flames it was to put the Kings away for good with a victory, while the Kings wanted to work their way back into the playoff conversation.
Calgary won the last meeting between the teams 2-1 in overtime with T.J. Brodie scoring the winner.
Brian Elliott got the start for the Flames as he was aiming for a Flames franchise record 11th straight win. Jonathan Quick started for LA.
Calgary would open the game flying and in my opinion play one of the best periods of the year up until the final few minutes.
Sean Monahan would get the Flames up 1-0 when he came into the attacking zone and put a perfect wrist shot over Quick’s shoulder. The goal was Monahan’s 23rd of the year, and Gaudreau and Chiasson got assists on the goal.
After another really good shift from the Monahan, Michael Stone would wire a slapper stick side past Quick and give Calgary a 2-0 lead. The goal was Stone’s third of the year and second with the Flames. Gaudreau and Monahan had assists on the goal, and Quick was chased as a result.
Ben Bishop’s entrance to the game would spark the Kings as they came back strong.
Anze Kopitar would get his stick on the puck right in front of Elliott to get it past him and make the score 2-1. Former Flame Jarome Iginla would get an assist on the goal.
Then late in the period, Matthew Tkachuk would attempt to back into a hit against Drew Doughty but his elbow came loose and caught Doughty in the head.
Tkachuk was lucky to get away without a penalty and may not have the same luck when the Department of Player Safety looks it over later. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him suspended for a game or two after he’s walked the line a few times already this year.
Calgary would come out strong to start the second period and quickly extend their lead to 3-1. A long Mark Giordano shot would deflect off a King defender past Bishop. In fact it was very similar to his goal against Dallas. Dougie Hamilton and Mikael Backlund got assists on Gio’s 12th of the year.
Only 50 seconds later Johnny Gaudreau would be sprung on a breakaway and deposit a pretty backhand into the top corner to give Calgary a 4-1 lead. Monahan was the guy who made the beautiful stretch pass to him as both him and Gaudreau had three points on the night.
Nic Dowd would get the Kings back to within two by deflecting a point shot that had Elliott going the wrong way.
Johnny Gaudreau would get another breakaway but be unable to finish and then the Flames would be forced to kill off a trio of penalties but did so very well.
After two periods it was 4-2 Calgary.
The third period would feature another expert performance by the Flames as they just shut things down.
Calgary has become the experts in shutting down opponents this season in winning when leading after two periods and tonight was no different as Calgary moved to 31-0-1.
The Kings wouldn’t even get any real good chances as it was a really solid 20 minutes of hockey.
Kris Versteeg would get an empty netter late and even more importantly Curtis Lazar would get an assist on the goal for his first point as a Flame in his debut.
Final score is 5-2 Flames as they’ve won two in a row and Brian Elliott is now tied for the Flames record with 11 straight wins.
- The Monahan line and specifically Johnny Gaudreau may have had their best game of the season
- Curtis Lazar looked pretty good, not great, but pretty good as a solid bottom six forward tonight.
- I’m having a hard time finding anything really bad about the game as it was a strong performance all the way around as everyone did their jobs.
- As already mentioned, Tkachuk’s elbow was a dangerous play and he may be out of the lineup for the next game or two
- Jarome Iginla wearing #88 and playing for the Los Angeles Kings
With the victory the Flames up their record to 41-27-4 and have 86 points on the season. That’s good for third in the division as they remain one point behind the Ducks with the same number of games played.
Calgary will now head to Washington to take on the Capitals in what could be their toughest game of the season. The Caps are 28-6-2 at home this season and it will be even tougher if Tkachuk isn’t playing.
Go Flames Go!