Mike Smith gets his third start in net for Calgary, feeling more and more comfortable in net, with 2 wins in his last couple of starts. David Rittich is still sharing time between the pipes with Smith, and has been out with the flu, and today as precautionary.
Sam Bennett is out for the Flames with an upper body injury.
Jack Campbell is in net for the Kings, Jonathan Quick getting a break from back-to-back games – Kings play Oilers tomorrow.
Ilya Kovulchuk is another healthy scratch and not travelling with the Kings, noted that he’s not happy and questioned LA head coach Willie Desjardins line up choices.
1st Period: Scoreboard 0 Flames, 1 Kings - Shots 15 Flames, 7 Kings
19:03 – 57 seconds into the game, LA Kings Derek Forbort scores a goal on his only shot of the game.
Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter from the Kings take cross-checking penalties in the first period. Flames – Gio to Lindholm, and Neal – a few good chances, but Kings netminder Campbell is the teams best penalty killer with the blocker save, and flash of the glove.
The Flames not able to capitalize on their third power play of the period, with former Flame Dion Phaneuf clearing the puck and killing off some penalty time.
Oscar Fantenberg upset after Tyler Toffoli slashes and breaks his stick - the two tango, both heading to team dressing rooms there after (2 mins each for fighting) with 1:56 left in the first.
LA Kings end the period with a 5-on-3 PP with James Neal and Garnet Hathaway sitting out for the Flames. Kopitar hitting the brakes early, causing the Kings to go offsides. The Flames able to hold off another LA goal, keeping the game within 1.
Total Penalty minutes end of first: 9 Flames, 11 Kings
2nd Period: Scoreboard 0 Flames, 1 Kings – Shots 31 Flames, 14 Kings
The Kings start the second with a 2-man advantage for the first 55 seconds. The Flames with a good PK, still trailing 1-0.
Calgary Flames getting a few late period chances again, Noah Hanafin pinging one off the post. Campbell closing the door on both Frolik and Hamonic – a scrum ensues, with Tkachuk at the tail of it - resulting in 4-on-4 on the ice for the last puck drop (1.5 seconds) of the second period.
Total penalty minutes are even at 13-13 after 40 minutes of play.
3rd Period: Scoreboard 0 Flames, 3 Kings – Shots 42 Flames, 20 Kings
The final 20 minutes of the game starts with 4-on-4 hockey.
The moment we were all waiting for – heavy weight (>200 lbs), Tkachuk versus Doughty minutes into the third period. Drew Doughty taking a cheap shot, slashing on Tkachuk, and is sent to the penalty box to cool down.
Mike Smith stays with Kempe on his short-handed attempt and snuffs him. The Flames unable to create anything on the PP. Only 2 SOG at the halfway mark of the third for Calgary.
LA Kings second goal stings, Smith not able to close the gap as Jonny Brodzinski pots one glove side. 2-0 with the Flames trailing at the 8 minute mark.
Flames taking chances, pulling the goalie early with 4 minutes left – backfires and the Kings, Tofolli adds an empty net goal at 4:03 clock, making it a 3-goal lead for LA. You think they could’ve scored a goal, and gained some momentum before pulling Smith..
Jack Campbell (making 40+ saves) registers a shutout against the Calgary Flames, as the LA Kings win 3-0. The last couple of minutes are played 4-on-4 with a couple of unsportsmanlike penalties handed out to Garnet Hathaway and Dion Phaneuf.
Total game penalty minutes: 15 Flames, 17 Kings
Mike Smith (2-1 in last 3 games) tried to keep the Flames in the game with a big save on Kempe early in the third period. Overall, the Flames team lacked the jumpstart that the Kings had in the first 57 seconds – 42 shots, but Campbell with the hot hand tonight.
The Flames-Kings series is 2-1 with the 4th and last series game taking place exactly a week from now in LA on Monday, April 1st fools day.