Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames edge Kings in tight game
Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
The Calgary Flames headed back on road on Thursday night, visiting California for the first time in 22 months. In a pretty tight-checking and back-and-forth game, the Flames held on for a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings opened the scoring early in this one. Alex Edler put a shot towards the net and Alex Iafallo had position to Erik Gudbranson in front of the net, allowing him to redirect the puck past Jacob Markström to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
But midway through the period, the Flames got that goal back on the power play. Mikael Backlund had an initial scoring chance that was stopped by Cal Peterson. Backlund retrieved the loose puck and found Andrew Mangiapane in front of the net for a quick pass-and-shoot to tie the game up at 1-1.
The Flames took the lead before the period ended with a second power play marker. A puck bounced over Noah Hanifin’s stick and Philip Danault went for an attempted rush, but Oliver Kylington skated back to break it up. He sent the puck back the other way and it ended up with Mangiapane feeding Milan Lucic across the slot. And like clockwork, Lucic went five-hole and beat Peterson to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
Shots were 14-13 Kings (9-8 Kings at five-on-five) and scoring chances 10-6 Kings in the first period.
The Flames added to their lead in the second period. A neutral zone passing sequence went awry, giving the Flames’ top line a three-on-three zone entry into the Kings’ end. Matthew Tkachuk used Drew Doughty as a screen and uncorked a very quick shot that beat Peterson to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
But the Kings got a goal back late in the period. The fourth line got a bit scrambly in their own end, which gave Edler a clear lane to pinch and get a nice shot off. His shot beat Markström glove-side to cut Calgary’s lead to 3-2. (It was also Edler’s 100th career NHL goal.)
Shots were 15-11 Kings (15-9 Kings at five-on-five) and scoring chances 14-12 Flames in the second period.
The Kings made a nice push in the third period and carried play for much of the period. But the Flames defended pretty well and got some really nice stops from Markström when they needed them. They held on for the 3-2 road victory.
Shots were 13-8 Kings (12-5 Kings at five-on-five) and scoring chances 10-9 Kings in the third period.
Why the Flames won
The Kings were a little bit better at five-on-five – the Flames had a bit of trouble throughout the games with the speed of their forecheck – but the Flames were opportunistic on the power play and otherwise defended well enough to grind out a victory.
It’s a tie between Gaudreau and Tkachuk. They were both persistent, noticeable, and generated many, many nice looks.
And while he wasn’t the reason the Flames got the win, Markström was very sharp when called upon.
The turning point
The Flames trailed a bit in the first period, so Lucic’s go-ahead goal on the power play was big. They headed into the first intermission with a lead that they’d never relinquish for the remainder of the evening.
Percentage stats are 5v5 and via Natural Stat Trick. Game score via Hockey Stat Cards.
This and that
Backlund’s first period assist tied him with Lanny McDonald for 18th in franchise history in points (406) and 14th in franchise history in assists (248).
The Flames (14-4-5) are back in action on Friday night just 30 minutes down the road when they visit the Anaheim Ducks. Puck drop is just after 8 p.m. MT.
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