Calgary Flames Post-Game: Kings fend off the Flames

Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames continued their swing through California on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings. And unfortunately for the Flames, they faced a really focused, motivated Kings team that controlled a big portion of the hockey game.
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The Flames skated to a 4-1 loss to the Kings to close out their season series.

The rundown

The opening period was fairly even, with the Kings preventing the Flames from generating a heck of a lot offensively with their suffocating structure.
The Kings opened the scoring partway through the first period on the power play. Danill Miromanov’s stick broke in the neutral zone and he was called for closing his hand on the puck when he attempted to sweep it to a teammate. On the ensuing Kings man advantage, Kevin Fiala fired a shot past Jacob Markstrom – and a Viktor Arvidsson screen – to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
First period shots were 10-8 Flames (10-7 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 10-4 Kings (high-dangers were 4-1 Flames).
The Kings padded their lead early in the second period. After gaining the zone and cycling quickly, Arvidsson cut towards the net in a way that turned a defending Miromanov into a screen, and Arvidsson’s shot eluded Markstrom to make it 2-0 Flames.
Midway through the second, the Kings made it 3-0. The Kings managed to intercept a pass attempt from Oliver Kylington from below the Flames’ goal line. Matt Roy teed it up for Akil Thomas at the right point, and his shot – with a bunch of bodies between him and the net – beat Markstrom to give the Kings a three-goal lead.
Second period shots were 13-7 Kings (9-7 Kings at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 9-4 Kings (4-1 Kings at five-on-five).
The Flames had a bit of push-back in the third period, and they managed to break into the Kings zone occasionally and get their cycle going. And that led to a goal, as Connor Zary fed the puck to Miromanov at the point, and his shot was deflected by Jonathan Huberdeau in the slot past Cam Talbot. That cut the Kings’ lead to 3-1.
The Flames pulled Markstrom for the extra attacker, but Arvidsson added an empty-netter to make it a 4-1 victory for the Kings.
Third period shots were 9-7 Kings (7-4 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 8-5 Flames (high-dangers were 3-1 Flames).

Why the Flames lost

The Kings are a good hockey club when they use their structure and use it to suffocate their opponent. After a first period that was a bit of a scramble both ways, the Kings really clamped down over the final 40 minutes and dictated where and how the game was played. The Flames managed to get on the board, but they just weren’t able to withstand the Kings’ talent and structure.
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Red Warrior

Let’s give it to Huberdeau, who had the lone Flames goal.
But also some stick-taps to the three young-uns: Ilya Solovyov was even in 18:56, Connor Zary was +1 and set up the Flames’ lone goal, and Matt Coronato didn’t look out of place on Mikael Backlund’s line.

Turning point

The Flames aren’t exactly the most potent offensive group these days, so allowing a second goal to the Kings early in the second period created quite the whole to dig themselves out of.

This and that

The Flames made a couple lineup changes from Tuesday’s game: Walker Duehr and Oliver Kylington rotated in, while Blake Coleman (day-to-day with an upper body injury) and Nikita Okhotiuk (healthy) rotated out.
With their victory, the Kings officially clinched a berth in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Up next

The Flames (35-38-5) are back at it on Friday evening when they visit the Anaheim Ducks.

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