Calgary Flames 3 @ Los Angeles Kings 2
CGY  Gaudreau (33) (N/A) 0:10
LAK  Kempe (30) (Kopitar (42), Iafallo (19)) 13:56
LAK  Kempe (31) (Kopitar (43), Durzi (22)) 19:06 PPG
CGY  Lindholm (35) (Gaudreau (61), Tkachuk (53)) 13:03
CGY  Gaudreau (34) (Carpenter (9), Stone (2)) 14:08
-Team on His Back: While winning is a collective effort, it’s hard to not give significant credit to a certain diminutive star tonight. Johnny Gaudreau scored the second fastest game-opening goal this season as he banked a poorly played dump-in by Cal Petersen off of him and into the net for an unassisted goal just 10 seconds into the game. With the Flames down 2-1, he used his Gretzky-esk skill behind the net to patiently find Elias Lindholm for a one-timer in the high slot midway through the second. Just a minute later, he danced in alone in the slot and roofed a gorgeous backhander over Petersen to provide the eventual game-winner. Johnny Hockey is up to 95 points on the season as the 100 milestone comes closer and closer.
-Cause for Concern: Has anyone seen Mangiapane, Toffoli, or Coleman lately? Mangiapane has a single goal and assist over his past 11 games, while Coleman has a single assist in that same span. Toffoli has massively regressed from his hot start and has chipped in a slightly better goal and 4 assists over his past 11. The first line really hasn’t lost their step at any point this season, which really goes to show how the absolute bone-dry secondary forward scoring has affected this team.
-Magi-Carp: On a slightly more positive note, newest Flame Ryan Carpenter got his first point in the flaming C with a nice dish on Gaudreau’s game-winning goal, and oft-scratched Michael Stone was credited for the secondary helper thanks to his dump in.
-Same Old Same Old: While no-one was happier than myself to see Adam Ruzicka back in the lineup, he was treated the same as he always has been. He saw a team-low 8:24 of ice time (nearly half of the 15 minutes that leisure skater Trevor Lewis saw) and was deployed on essentially the fourth line, with the much improved Dillon Dube who was rewarded for his recent play by seeing the second-lowest ice time with 10:55. Over their past 22 games Lewis and Milan Lucic have combined for ONE goal and TWO assists, which was surpassed by Brett Ritchie alone in the past weeks. It’s getting to a point of little sense that these two are every day players while guys sit in the press box who are at the bare minimum competent skaters and are able to handle a puck at the NHL level. The bottom 6 of this team is it’s greatest weakness.