That was a humbling game. That game was a learning experience for the Flames, and the lesson is just another of the many the Flames will need in their progression.
With the chance to clinch a playoff spot and knock out the Kings in the process, the Flames got caught up in the physical play early and they got stuck in LA’s game the rest of the way.
Matthew Tkachuk as expected came flying out of the gate looking to stand up to the Kings who were sure to pester him all game. His first attempt didn’t go well as his gloves were off before he could find a dance partner and he was subsequently sent off for two minutes.
Calgary would then get up 1-0 early when Dougie Hamilton finished a strong Flames attack and just barely squeaking the puck through Ben Bishop.
The Kings would then get their revenge of Tkachuk off the ensuing faceoff with Brayden McNabb dropping the gloves with him. Both players would land shots before McNabb wrestled Tkachuk to the ice.
The teams would trade powerplay opportunities before we had another fight, and it was a doozy.
Jarome Iginla and Deryk Engelland would drop the mitts in a long fight between two grizzled vets with Iggy leaving Engelland bloodied.
The fight would spark the Kings as they would get the game tied shortly after with Trevor Lewis deflecting a shot past Elliott.
The opening period would close tied 1-1 with 40 minutes of penalties between the teams.
The biggest part of the second period was the almost devastating hit by Tkachuk on Drew Doughty.
With Doughty crossing through centre ice, Tkahcuk lined him up but Doughty managed to duck under him, missing the majority of the hit.
Andy Andreoff would step up and jump Tkachuk leading to a Flames powerplay and Andreoff’s second 10 minute misconduct of the night which led to his ejection from the game. He finished with 34 PIM.
Again Calgary’s powerplay would fail to convert as the game remained tied.
Iginla would get the KIngs the lead very late in the period with a shot the deflected off a Flame and into the net from a scramble.
LA held a 2-1 lead after forty minutes and was controlling the play.
Anze Kopitar would extend the Kings lead to 3-1 early in the third period by finishing off a 2-on-1 that evolved out of nothing.
Shortly after Iginla would set up Jeff Carter with a perfect pass for Carter to tap it past Elliott and make it 4-1.
I really don’t know what else to say about this game as the Kings played Sutter brand hockey and really shut things down.
- Calgary tried too hard to be tough early and never got back to their game
- Los Angeles played the way they had for so many years previously
- It was a disappointing performance across the board
- The team didn’t look prepared for the battle tonight
- Every game the rest of the way is going to be like tonight so the Flames must adapt
- Congratulations to Iggy with his Gordie Howe Hat Trick in potentially his last game at the Dome.
With the loss, the Flames dreams of clinching are put on hold for at least another couple nights. Calgary can clinch on Friday night with either a win over San Jose, or a Kings loss to Vancouver.
It wasn’t pretty, but hopefully the team can learn something from tonight’s game and apply it moving forward.