Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Quips and Quotes: Flames beat Kings 4-1

The Calgary Flames beat the Los Angeles Kings by a 4-1 score on Friday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

Mike Smith’s timely save swings the game

Calgary hockey fans have been abuzz about “Big Save Dave” for the past few weeks. On Friday night, Mike Smith answered back. He made a very timely save on Dustin Brown that kept the game tied, which allowed Austin Czarnik to recover the puck and drive the Kings net. That drew a penalty and led to the Flames taking the lead.

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“You could arguably say that save won us the game,” said Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau. “2-1 them going into the last 10 minutes of the game, they’re a really good defensive structured team, so could’ve turned the game the other way.”

Flames head coach Bill Peters praised his team for sticking with the program, especially given that they could’ve been frustrated by so many scoring chances missing the mark or hitting the post. He agreed with Gaudreau’s assessment of the importance of that save.

“You get a little nervous when it’s the 13 minute mark and it’s 1-1 and Smitty makes a big save two on one,” said Peters. “If it goes 2-1 the other way, they’ve got enough experience and skill to lock it down with seven minutes to go. So that was a huge save, huge turning point and a little counter and [Czarnik] gets us on the power play and leads to the game-winning goal. So that was a huge sequence right there.”

Johnny Gaudreau hits plenty of iron, then scores

Gaudreau hit three posts during the game, most notably a wild sequence – during a stretch of 3:30 spent in the Kings zone – where he beat Cal Petersen with a wrap-around… that ended up clanging off both posts and out the other side of the crease.

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As you can imagine, Gaudreau was relieved to get the game-winning goal in the third period.

“It was great,” said Gaudreau. “I don’t think it should’ve been a 1-1 game going into the third there. So many chances, couldn’t find the net. It was nice to get rewarded there in the third.”

It’s often said that in the game of hockey, teams (and players) get the breaks that they deserve. If teams stick with it and out-play their opposition, eventually the pucks will go in. That seemed to be the underlying message of Peters’ assessment of Gaudreau’s game against the Kings.

“What did he for shots tonight? Three and three posts probably, so they don’t count,” said Peters. “I thought he was dangerous. i thought he was good. I thought he was rewarded at the end with a game-winning goal. Of his scoring chances probably that’s the one that’s not going to go in nine times out of ten, but tonight it did. I think the game’s fair, typically, and it was fair tonight.”

Through 26 games, Gaudreau is tied with Matthew Tkachuk for the Flames scoring lead with 29 points. His three game-winning goals is second on the club, trailing behind Elias Lindholm’s four game-winners.

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  • FlushedOut

    Walt will soon quote how we won in spite of Backlunds performance. Probably something about his goals were too easy and an embarrassment to the game. I seem to remember even Gretzky scoring empty net goals and more than a few cheap ones

    • Albertabeef

      Gretzky scored 56 empty netters in his career number one on the list of course. Backs has 6 the same as Johnny while Mony has 5 sor far ib his career. For reference Iggy had 32 and Gary Roberts had 20 in their whole careers.

  • Garry T

    Good goal scorers focus on the net target they see. Blasters miss the net
    9 out of 10 times. The boys need to focus on the target the goalie provides
    and get their shots on net.

    If an opportunistic player went to the side of the net for rebounds, the score would have been 7 to 1. James N was floating last night instead of skating hard. C’mon man, get some drive into the ice happening.

  • Burnward

    He may not win. But ol Billy Peters is Jack Adams quality.

    New lease on life as a flames fan for this guy. Amazing the difference a competent bench boss makes.

    • Mickey O'Reaves

      I said when they hired Bill Peters that he’ll get votes for the coach of the year.
      Still sticking with that little prediction.

      Rebar really gets the coaching concept, and the players know what to expect from him.
      That puck in the face on Sunday in the ‘Zona game was icing on the cake … you just knew he’d be back to finish the game.

  • Spider you muda&@#ker

    Everybody talks about the Gio bump but Gio’s having his best season since I dont know the last time he played with Brodie maybe…I think both those players are perfect fits and make each other better. Good on BT for recognizing that and shipping out Dougie who nobody has missed! Time for Brodie to get some credit the guy is an impact player slotted where he is comfortable.

  • Burnward

    My favourite thing about being a Flame fan right now is NO ONE is talking about them.

    They are deep, loaded with talent that is young, cost-controlled and locked down for the most part.

    Have managed their finances beautifully, drafted well and are now just beginning a run that could be long and sustained.

    If…goaltending. But still. It’s awesome these guys are our little secret still.

    Thanks Edmonton. You’re good for something…distraction.