The Calgary Flames came into Southern California with a great amount of momentum. But the positive vibes on the road trip grinded to a halt by way of a pretty flat performance at Staples Center. The Flames lost by a 5-3 score to the Los Angeles Kings.
The opening 20 minutes was a fairly meh period of hockey. Neither team looked great. The Flames were sloppy with their puck management in all three zones. The Kings were unable to score on the many chances they had, with David Rittich standing on his head.
Shots were 13-8 Kings and scoring chances 7-5 Kings in the first period.
The Flames continued to be sloppy in the second period, though they managed to open the scoring midway through the period. Cal Petersen got caught playing his puck behind the net. He lost a scramble for a loose puck and by the time he hustled back into his crease, Mikael Backlund had buried a Matthew Tkachuk feed to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 13, 2020
But that lead lasted all of 44 seconds. The Kings attacked the Flames net. Rittich made the initial stops, but Tyler Toffoli jammed in the loose rebound to make it 1-1.
39 seconds after that goal, the Kings took the lead. The puck bounced past a couple Flames at the offensive blueline, giving Austin Wagner an uncontested breakaway. He beat Rittich stick-side to make it a 2-1 Kings lead.
Shots were 14-11 Flames and scoring chances 12-10 Kings in the second period.
The Kings scored again early in the third period. The Flames got backed into their own zone and that allowed Kurtis MacDermid to fire a shot past Rittich (and underneath a leaping, screening Blake Lizotte) to make it a 3-1 Kings lead.
But the Flames scored right after to cut the lead back to one. On a nice passing sequence, Derek Ryan found Elias LIndholm all by his lonesome at the far post for the tap-in to make it a 3-2 game.
Can you be in love with a pass? Because we cannot stop watching this feed from Doc. pic.twitter.com/PHg6Jca5Tr
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 13, 2020
Jeff Carter buried a shot from the high slot late in the third to give the Kings a 4-2 edge.
But the Flames pulled the goalie for the extra attacker and Lindholm got his second of the game in a scramble in front of Petersen’s crease to cut the lead to 4-3 Kings.
But the visitors couldn’t get any closer. Sean Walker scored into an empty net with 2.6 seconds remaining to make it a 5-3 final.
Shots were 16-9 Flames and scoring chances 7-5 Kings in the third period.
Why the Flames Lost
The Flames reverted back to their prior form – defensively leaky and not particularly great at puck management. They battled against themselves as much as they did the Kings on this occasion.
Rittich made tons of big saves. When the rest of his team didn’t look too hot, he did his best to hold them in it.
The Turning Point
Allowing two goals against in the second period in a span of 39 seconds, against a Kings team that has looked not very good for the season, was a tough pill to swallow.
Failing to score on a prolonged five-on-three power play was also sub-optimal.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and That
Doughty celebrated on the videoboard during the first media timeout for becoming the highest scoring #LAKings D in Washington last week. Calgary's bench unmoved.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) February 13, 2020
Geoff Ward shuffled up his lines in the third period:
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) February 13, 2020
Milan Lucic fought Kurtis MacDermid in the second period.
The Drive to 95 (Points)
The Flames have 64 points. A 95 point playoff pace through 58 games prorates to 67.2 points, so they’re 4.2 points off a likely playoff pace with 24 games to go.
The Flames (29-23-6) play again on Thursday night. They head down the I-5 to face the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.