Calgary Flames 1 LA Kings 2 (OT)
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: the Flames had a third period lead, blew it, lost in extra time, but their point streak continued. It’s like the Flames are living in the movie Groundhog Day. The point streak has reached 10, but in losing to the Kings in OT, the Flames and Kings are now even at 57 points. Also....SCORE SOME GOALS FOR YOUR FREAKING GOALIE WHO IS PLAYING THE BEST HOCKEY OF HIS LIFE. Ok. On to the recap.
1st Period: Flames 1 Kings 0
The Flames and Kings both came out hot, each looking to secure 2 points in a key Pacific Division battle, but the Flames would be the first to light the lamp. Just before the 14 minute mark of the period Brett Kulak would chip the puck into the Kings end and Micheal Ferland would retrieve it and good things would happen. Ferland would feed a beautiful drop pass between his legs to Sean Monahan, who fed Gaudreau, who would in turn get Mony the puck in the slot. The streaking Monahan would not miss as he buried the puck past Dacry Kuemper, giving the Flames a 1-0 lead.
LA’s league leading PK got a taste of it’s own medicine as the Flames would kill both LA PP’s in the period. Before Monahan’s goal, Calgary’s 2 best scoring chances came short handed, but Mark Jankowski would miss on a breakaway and Mikael Backlund couldn’t get a shot off as he raced towards the LA net down a man. The Flames PP would sputter on it’s only chance of the period as well.
1st Period Stats
2nd Period: Flames 1 Kings 0
The second period didn’t feature any scoring, but it did have plenty of chances. Calgary would dominate the period with 16 shots, but as has been the case lately, they could not score. Darcy Kuemper was a good chunk of the reason why Calgary couldn’t find the back of the net as he came up big on a Flames PP where he stopped 3 quality chances, keeping the game at 1-0.
Sean Monahan was going to be the story of the period until this save happened:
Smith robbed Alex Iafallo’s rocket shot after a costly Flames turnover almost led to the game being tied at 1. Monahan had a very solid period with at least 3 quality scoring chances, but he couldn’t notch his second marker of the contest.
And it wouldn’t be a Kings and Flames game without a pile of penalties. The second period saw each team get a little sloppy and the penalty boxes filled up. Kyle Clifford (double minor), Drew Doughty (double minor), Sam Benentt, Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund (10 minutes misconduct for throwing part of a broken stick into the stands) all saw time in the bin during the second 20 minutes. LA’s only highlight, outside of the Iafallo shot was Anze Kopitar coming in 1 on 3 and getting to net, only to be stopped by Mike Smith.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Flames 1 Kings 1
The Flames penchant for 3rd period collapses was in full effect again as their precarious 1 goal lead disappeared 4 minutes into the final frame. A Mark Jankowski tripping penalty would put the Kings on the PP and they wouldn’t waste the opportunity with the man advantage. Jake Muzzin would tee up a slap shot from the point and beat Mike Smith blocker side to tie the game at 1-1. LA used a great screen to keep the Flames netminder from seeing the puck and just like that the Flames lead was gone.
Outside of that goal by Muzzin there really wasn’t much else of interest in the period. Each team buckled down on defence and played to get the game to OT to get a point.
3rd Period Stats
Overtime: Flames 1 Kings 2
The Flames would put their 6-2 OT record on the line and they had a glorious opportunity early as Mikael Backlund would find a wide open Matthew Tkachuk out front........and the puck would sail past him, leaving the Flames empty handed on their best OT chance. Johnny Gaudreau gave the Flames a glimmer of hope as he would bail Mike Smith out with some quality defencive stick work to keep it tied. Smith would play the puck and inexplicably give the puck right to Anze Kopitar. Thankfully Gaudreau would race back and get his stick on the puck, sending it up and wide of the net. But as the Flames have done best recently, they gave the opposition just enough hope. Drew Doughty would find Tanner Pearson and he would fire the puck past Mike Smith to give the Kings a 2-1 victory.
The Flames had a chance to really do some damage to the Kings playoff chances, but they again failed to show up. Calgary scored early and as has been the case, let their opponent get a 3rd period goal and force the game to extra time. Calgary has now gotten a point in 10 straight, but their last 3 points have come in OT/SO losses.
It should have been critical for Calgary to put LA away early, but they didn’t. They let the Kings hang around and an early 3rd period PP for LA was the difference. Mike Smith was once again outstanding between the pipes, but the 5 guys in front of him couldn’t solve Darcy Kuemper. The Kings netminder stonewalled the Flames to the tune of 30 saves on 31 shots.
This is now the third straight game the Flames have lost after reeling off 7 straight wins. In the 3 losses the Flames have only scored 3 goals, clearly not enough. Which team are the Flames? The team that won 7 in a row? The team that has lost 3 and can’t score? Who even knows at this point, but one this is clear: Calgary needs to figure it out and figure it out fast.
Flame Of The Game
Sean Monahan (C). Monahan had the opening marker of the game that came from some nifty passing between Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Micheal Ferland. Monahan had a team high 8 SOG and for a while was trying to win this game on his own. If not for some solid goaltending by Kuemper, who knows how many goals #23 would have had. All around this was a monster performance by Sean Monahan.
Thursday 1/25: Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers, 7PM MT