The Flames took it to the Kings tonight after a slow start and dominated one of the best teams in the NHL.
1st Period: Calgary Flames 0, Los Angeles Kings 2
The Kings would come out of the gate firing on all cylinders, peppering Mike Smith with shots early. However it would be a weak shot from the corner by Derek Forbort that would give LA the 1-0 lead.
A pass from Anze Kopitar would find Forbort and his shot would just slide along the ice and somehow through Smith’s pads. It was a save Smith absolutely had to make and eerily looked like the goal allowed by Brian Elliott in Game 4 vs Anaheim last year.
Calgary would push back and even get a couple powerplays but would be unable to tie the game. It was encouraging to see the Flames bouncing back from a slow start.
Late in the period, a Matthew Tkachuk turnover would give the Kings a 2-on-1 which Tanner Pearson would capitalize with a nice deflection over Smith’s glove. 2-0 Kings.
The period would end with the Kings up 2-0 and shots tied at a whopping 15 a piece. In the final 13:26 of the period, Calgary would have 25 shot attempts to the Kings 3, but the Kings get the goal to lead by two.
First Period Stats
2nd Period: Calgary Flames 4, Los Angeles Kings 2
I don’t really know what more I can say other than the Flames were absolutely dominant in the second period.
The Flames would get on the scoreboard two and a half minutes into the period with Micheal Ferland being sprung on a partial break and sliding the puck through Jonathan Quick. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had assists on the Flames opening goal.
Calgary would get a powerplay but be unable to score but once again generate some great chances.
Shortly after the Flames would want to get the game tied up with Troy Brouwer (YES TROY BROUWER!!!) burying a rebound in front of Quick for his third goal of the season. Mark Giordano and Matthew Tkachuk had assists on the goal.’
Brett Kulak would take a tripping penalty but the Flames would do a solid job in limiting the Kings chances.
The Flames would take the 3-2 lead with Mark Jankowski taking advantage of a pair of bounces. First the puck would bounce off a King right in front to Jankowski, his original shot would be saved but the rebound would go in the air and then be bunted in by Jankowski. It was his seventh goal of the year.
Calgary would keep their foot on the gas after taking the lead with Sean Monahan scoring late by beating Quick through the five hole for his 19th of the year to make it 4-2 Flames. Assists to Gaudreau and Ferland.
That would be the score to end the second period with Calgary absolutely dominating Los Angeles. What a period!
Second Period Stats
3rd Period: Calgary Flames 4, Los Angeles Kings 3
After a dominant second period, the goal of the third period would be for the Flames to shut down the Kings and take the victory. For the majority of the period that’s exactly what happened.
Los Angeles would get a late goal with 1:31 to go as Tanner Pearson got his second of the game. The last ninety seconds would be a nail-biter.
Mikael Backlund would come up clutch with a trio of faceoff wins so that the Flames could exit the zone as the Kings wouldn’t get any great chances late.
Flames win 4-3!
Third Period Stats
Tonight was a win that the Flames absolutely needed to have and they got it. It took a few minutes to get going but from there it was all Calgary.
Shot attempts in the game finished 79-49 for the Flames, and after the Kings had an early 14-5 lead, it was 74-35 the rest of the way. It was a stellar performance from the Flames, perhaps their best of the season.
Mike Smith rebounded well after a tough opening goal to get the win.
The first line continued their re-emergence after a December slump.
Flames have won two in a row.
Flame of the Game
Sean Monahan (F): The entire top line was outstanding tonight but I had to give the nod to Monahan who finished with a goal and an assist. He probably could’ve had a few more points but it’s nice to see him break out of that scoring slump with his second goal in as many games.