Okay, the Kings are rolling.
Last time the Los Angeles Kings took on the Calgary Flames, Dustin Brown took advantage of an egregious turnover three minutes into the game to open the scoring. Tonight, the Flames decided not to give away the early goal, so the thriving first line went out and grabbed it. Justin Williams handed the puck off to Anze Kopitar and bolted to the net, and after Kopitar made a move at the blue line, he fed back to Williams. Williams had gotten by both defensemen, and all he had to do was redirect the puck past Joni Ortio. He didn't even need his stick to do it!
The second goal was a more intentional tip, from an unlikelier source: Trevor Lewis. He doesn't score much, but when he does, he scores in bunches! Or something. Anyway, after Williams scored, there wasn't much in the way of action, but the bottom six capitalized on a fairly innocent play. Kyle Clifford got the puck up to Slava Voynov at the point, and his shot was low on the ice... perfectly placed for Lewis to score on a tip-in for the second consecutive game.
Poor Ortio had no chance on either goal, but his team was down two early. The Kings didn't overwhelm the Flames as they overwhelmed the Jets and Oilers, but they also kept the game relatively quiet for the next thirty minutes. (Just don't say boring...) That gave Darryl Sutter a chance to try some new things. No forward apart from Anze Kopitar and Trevor Lewis played more than 16 minutes overall, and we got to even see Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli kill part of a penalty together! They didn't just hold the fort; they almost scored, Pearson setting Toffoli up for a great scoring chance at the other end.
Anze Kopitar put the nail in the coffin (OR SO WE THOUGHT) with the Kings' third tip/deflection goal of the game. It was sublime.
The rest of the game seemed like it would be an afterthought. A great Joni Ortio stop on Marian Gaborik looked like nothing more than a footnote, and a great Martin Jones stop on Mike Cammalleri looked like nothing more than a cap on Calgary's frustrating night. But to the Flames' credit, they clawed their way back. Cammalleri got his goal by banking in a shot off of Slava Voynov with 4:31 to go, and with 2:22 to go, Brian McGrattan whirled around and whipped a shot past Martin Jones. Thankfully, the Kings managed to slam the door from then on, and they held on for the 3-2 win.
The Kings' franchise record is nine consecutive wins. They'll try to match that on Thursday, at home, against Toronto.