35Garnet Hathaway
Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames understudies wallop Kings

The Calgary Flames came into Los Angeles on the back half of a back-to-back. They scratched six regulars. They demolished the Los Angeles Kings by a 7-2 score in a very one-sided game at Staples Center.

The Rundown

The Flames took the lead early in the first period. Oliver Kylington’s point shot clanged off Jonathan Quick’s past. The rebound went right to Derek Ryan, who chipped the puck over top of the sprawling Quick as he was being hauled down to give the Flames a 1-0 advantage.

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Kyle Clifford tied things up for the Kings roughly midway through the period. Off the rush, he took a drop pass from Ilya Kovalchuk and his wrister from the top of the slot (with some bodies in-between) eluded David Rittich’s glove to make it 1-1.

The Flames regained the lead while they were announcing Clifford’s goal. Trevor Lewis swatted the puck away from Mark Jankowski at the side of the net and Sam Bennett deflected Lewis’ sliding puck past Quick to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.

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The Kings tied things up late in the period, though. With 40 seconds left on the clock, Dustin Brown buried a Drew Doughty pass deep in the Flames’ zone and put it past Rittich to make it 2-2.

Shots were 10-8 Flames in the first period, while chances were 7-7.

The Flames regained their lead midway in the second period. Off the rush with James Neal and Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau attacked the offensive zone. Nearly straddling the goal line beside the Kings net, he faked a pass across the crease to Neal and instead went top shelf from the bad angle to make it 3-2 Flames.

Shots were 11-5 Kings and scoring chances 5-4 Flames in the second period.

The Flames added a pair early in the third period to really put things out of reach. 13 seconds into the period, Mark Jankowski chucked the puck at the net from the far corner and Neal redirected it past Quick to make it 4-2 Flames.

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A couple minutes later the Kings attempted to break out of their own zone, but Rasmus Andersson intercepted the puck, passed to Neal, and Neal put the puck in the slot for a redirect from Ryan to make it 5-2 Flames.

Midway through the period Michael Stone’s point shot went wide, but Juuso Valimaki collected it and fed Andrew Mangiapane. His wrist shot ramped off Drew Doughty’s stick and beat Quick to make it 6-2.

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Right off the following faceoff, Alan Quine stripped the puck from a Kings defender, passed to Austin Czarnik, who passed to Jankowski. His backhander off the rush beat Quick to make it 7-2 and chase Quick from the game.

Shots were 15-6 Flames and chances 12-5 Flames in the final period.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames seemed to be finding their legs in the first two periods, but they really went for the jugular in the third period. They found their killer instinct after buzzing around the net for much of the game.

But give them credit: they were rock-solid away from the puck as well, despite scratching their  top four defensemen, plus Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund. The understudies were more than up to the challenge of increased roles.

Red Warrior

Jankowski had three points, so let’s give him the nod. But a lot of players in white sweaters had good nights.

The Turning Point

The pair of Flames goals early in the third period really allowed the visitors to pull away. The other two goals in the game added insult to injury.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Natural Stat Trick)

Player Corsi
Frolik 68.8 30.0 0.650
Mangiapane 66.7 62.5 1.450
Neal 65.5 28.6 2.950
Andersson 62.5 22.2 1.250
Valimaki 60.7 62.5 1.125
Czarnik 57.9 37.5 1.050
Jankowski 57.6 50.0 2.635
Fantenberg 57.6 22.2 0.750
Hathaway 55.6 71.4 1.150
Quine 55.0 37.5 0.780
Stone 53.9 55.6 0.700
Gaudreau 53.6 28.6 1.000
Ryan 53.3 57.1 2.380
Prout 53.1 45.5 0.650
Kylington 51.7 41.7 1.400
Monahan 51.7 28.6 0.870
Lindholm 50.0 28.6 0.150
Bennett 50.0 33.3 0.750
Rittich 0.800

This and That

Bennett, playing his first game in awhile due to an upper body injury, left the game at the end of the second period after taking a hit from Kurtis MacDermid. MacDermid’s shoulder caught Bennett under the chin, and the Flames forward was extremely wobbly getting up and was helped off the ice by a trainer. He did not return.

Rittich registered his 27th victory of the season, the most for a Flames goaltender in a single season since Miikka Kiprusoff’s retirement.

The Flames dressed eight homegrown draft picks in this game. All eight of them registered at least one point.

Up Next

The Flames (50-23-7) are back in action on Wednesday night when they visit the Anaheim Ducks.

  • 31 Thoughts With Morgan Freeman

    Love this team! The young D acquitted themselves well tonight. Rittich was solid between the pipes (though it makes me crazy how often he rims the puck up the boards straight to the opposing team. He has got to stop that). Jankowski and Neal played hard and were rewarded for the extra ice time they were given. Ryan is just plain solid. I wasn’t drinking the koolaid earlier in the season, but has he ever been a great addition to this team! How about that goal by Johnny Hockey?!? What a snipe!
    Frolik chases the puck and skates harder than anyone on the Flames. Great respect for his effort. There is hardly a weak link on this team anymore. They are all coming together at the right time. Amazing that we can sit 6 regulars including our top 4 D, play our top line sparingly and walk away with a 7-2 win. I know it’s only the Kings, but Damn! After tonight the only team that can still pass Calgary for second is Boston and their chances are fading fast. Keep it going Flames! Let’s go into the playoffs riding high!

  • Rookie Veteran

    Seems like we’ve been saying this after every game lately but Neal’s play of late has been extremely encouraging. The Real Deal is here for the playoffs!!

  • canadian1967

    Hey Doughty, I don’t like or respect you.
    Your Yap never seems to not be going nonstop and you’re a Dirty Prick on top of it. I predict that you will sit out the first Flames game next year with the Chicken Flu.

  • PhillyWerg

    What a time to be a a flames fan!! Went back and read the best / worst case scenario article today and almost every part of the best case worked out. Seemed like a pipe dream back then but here we are. Neal if finally moving his feet and Mango is seriously impressing me every game, BT and BP have done such an amazing job with our depth.

  • Captain Ron

    This result is the best kind of revenge for the Bennett hit. Beat them into submission on the score board in front of their fans. The effect of that will resonate throughout their team longer and deeper than any 45 second dust up between McDermid and Prout would have. Love watching the Kings get a good licking like that. Will be a long time before they are relevant again so screw them and that whiny #8 Doughty. Enjoy basement dwelling for the next few years fellas!

  • KeepitReal

    Gotta say that I felt a little nauseous when Benny got nailed and NOBODY stood up for him. Make no mistake. This was not a random, clean body check. How many times did Benny answer the bell for his team mates this year??

    • Rockmorton65

      I didn’t see anything that made me think the hit was dirty. The guy was MUCH bigger that Benny, didn’t leave his feet or make contact with the head. From what I saw, he just caught him flush.

      Plus, I don’t think McDermid played another shift.

      • Oil consuming Flames

        There was definitely head contact. It wasn’t a “dirty” hit per se, but he was certainly trying to hurt Bennett (legally). He hit him square, but his shoulder drove right into Bennett’s face (cheek/chin) and absolutely rang his bell. I just hope the “upper body injury” he was just held out for recently, wasn’t for a concussion, or it may be a long time before we see 93 on the ice. It could still be a while even if his last injury wasn’t a concussion, this one was big on its own.

  • Albertabeef

    Points by 8 different draft picks while 3 very good draft picks sat out. Very impressive. We could almost ice an entire team of our own “homegrown” drafted and undrafted free agents and then just plug a couple holes.

  • Garry T

    Rockmorton … the hit on Bennett was a full blown intent to injure. A mis-guided decision by a man whose only emotion was to play the hero role on his bench. Your lack of concern for Bennett utterly amazes me. Bennett only plays one way, HARD.
    But, it may have caught up to him. If I am a Doctor responsible for this young man’s long term health, he has played his last game until a host of tests are run on Sam’s
    Brain and nervous system. Putting him back into the game quickly as Peters suggests is asinine. He was out on his feet. The determination to get up by Bennett showed tremendous but mis-guided courage. Hell he probably was wondering where the Mac truck went. Please show some compassion for the team’s most gutsy player.

    • Rockmorton65

      You need to chill, Garry. He got his bell ring, it happens. When you give up almost six inches & fifty pounds to a guy, you could be in for a rough ride. It was at the end of a series of useless “messages” and Benny got caught out of his weight class. Since you see something obvious that I don’t, please enlighten me on how it was a dirty hit.
      The decision whether he plays or not is the doctor’s and the league’s not the coach’s.

  • cjc

    That game felt like a victory lap. I’ve been a critic at times, but you have to respect what they’ve done as a whole this season. It wasn’t that long ago that a California road trip was cause for dread. It’s great that the team can relax a bit and enjoy it.