Calgary Flames 3 - LA Kings 4 (OT)
Flames: Tkachuk (1) (Unassisted, 2nd @ 10:51), Hanifin (1) (Tkachuk/Brodie, 2nd @ 13:33), Tkachuk (2) (Andersson/Gaudreau, 3rd @ 18:56)
Kings: Toffoli (1) (Kovalchuk/Doughty 1st @ 2:53), Walker (1) (Lizotte/Toffoli 1st @ 17:26), Kovalchuk (1) (Kempe/Doughy 2nd @ 3:46), PPG Doughty (2) (Kopitar/Kovalchuk OT @ 0:50)
This one lived up to all the hype. The Flames and Kings battled all night long, but unfortunately for the good guys, the Kings came out on the winning end Tuesday night with a 4-3 OT win in Calgary.
The Flames played an absolute terrible first period, being out shot 20-3 after 20 minutes, but thanks to David Rittich, the Flames were only down 2-0. The Flames goaltender was lights out, while being constantly under fire from the Kings offence. The rest of his squad? No where to be found. Calgary fired a unthinkable three shots at Jack Campbell and found themselves in a very early hole.
Things didn’t get any better as the second period started. Ilya Kovalchuk scored a little over three minutes into the period and just like that the Flames were down 3-0. As luck would have it the Kings started to get more physical in the period and that was just what the Flames needed. After Kurtis MacDermid took some liberties with Flames players, he then picked the wrong player to try and lay out: Milan Lucic. Lucic would dodge a borderline dirty check from MacDermid and it was on. Lucic and MacDermod would drop the gloves with Looch getting the better of the fight and that was just what the Flames needed. Calgary would throw the body around more in the period and Matthew Tkachuk would show up to counter LA’s Drew Doughty. Tkachuk would get the Flames on the board at the 10:51 mark. He would throw some great checks and his energy would carry the Flames through the period. Noah Hanifin would get the Flames within one goal with his first of the season and Calgary would finish two periods in a 3-2 hole.
Though it would take more than 18 minutes to get a goal in the third, there was plenty of action. Both teams would step up the pace of play and the star of the period was LA’s Jack Campbell. In the second frame Campbell looked like he was fighting the puck a touch, but he was lights out in the third period. The Kings keeper would stop 12 of the 13 shots he faced and kept LA’s lead from disappearing. That lead would however evaporate when Matthew Tkachuk would score the game tying goal at the 18:51 mark with some serious hand eye coordination. The Flames winger would bat a loose puck out of the air and then bat it into the net before it hit the ice and out of nowhere the Flames tied the game 3-3 and we were off to overtime.
As luck would have it, one half of the Doughty/Tkachuk feud would end it in OT and it wouldn’t be anyone wearing red. Drew Doughty would collect his third point of the night on the PP, just 50 seconds in to the extra frame by scoring the game winning goal and LA would leave the Saddledome with two points.
The Flames are lucky to have collected a point after their terrible start. LA, who are allegedly a team that Calgary should have easily handled, came to play early and the Flames didn’t. Deep into the second period the Flames only had six shots on net and they put too much on their brilliant goaltender David Rittich. Ritter finished the night with 36 saves on 40 shots. Sure, he’d probably like one of the four back, but he was under siege all game long.
What wasn’t disappointing was the intensity in this game and the growing rivalry between Tkachuk and Doughty. Tkachuk finished with two goals and an assist and Doughty countered with a goal and two assists. You really couldn’t have asked for more between the two of them....except maybe Tkachuk getting the game winner as opposed to Doughty.
Flame Of The Game
Matthew Tkachuk (F). Tkachuk was an absolute force in this game. He led the team in points with three (2G 1A), led the Flames with 7 hits and was all over the ice and as usual, a thorn in the Kings side.