You figuring out how to describe the Los Angeles Kings season so far might conjure up thoughts of a Pepe “Sad Frog“ meme amid a three-game losing streak, but it is important to realize that seasons of sadness are only temporary.
Jonathan Quick finally recorded his first win of the season by stopping 23 shots. After being outscored 10-2 in their last three games, LA notched a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
In the midst of going 136:36 minutes of scoreless hockey, the Kings’ desert of an offense was revived on a light drizzle courtesy of a goal by Tyler Toffoli on the very first shot of the game.
The 27-year-old center seared defenseman Noah Hanifin, who pinched, while gaining entrance to the offensive zone and torched David Rittich’s glove side for his third goal of the season.
Teemu Selanne once likened goal scoring to a ketchup bottle, suggesting that once it starts flowing, it’s hard to stop. And Los Angeles was the beneficiary of that analogy tonight.
The second period has proven to be the least productive for Los Angeles with just four goals to show for it in the season, so it was a nice change of scenery to witness a three-goal outburst in the middle frame to expand Calgary’s deficit to four.
The Flames made it seem the ice was titled on their own end as the Kings were able to keep them on edge by riffling 20 shots on goal compared to their opposition’s four.
Jeff Carter opened the second period scoring just 16 seconds in, zooming along the left side before deflecting it off and in on Mark Giordano’s skate to enter Billie Eilish’s tough guy radar. It was the first goal of the season for the 15-year veteran.
After failing to convert on a breakaway four minutes into the second period, Anze Kopitar kept the shame on Rittich as he got another mano a mano session a few shifts later to hang the goalie’s jockstrap on the rafters while shorthanded.
Scoring in a myriad of ways didn’t bother the Kings, as they added their final tally on the power play. Converting once on eight tries.
Ilya Kovalchuk took a page out of his fellow countryman Alex Ovechkin’s playbook with a slapshot at the top of the left face-off circle.
This prompted Calgary to relieve Rittich and have Cam Talbot to occupy the net to finish the rest of the way.
After making his season debut for the Kings on Oct. 8 against the Flames, defenseman Kurtis MacDermid drew back into the lineup tonight after not playing in the last five games. MacDermid picked up four more penalty minutes to bring his season total up to 11.
Quick was two minutes away from picking up a shutout until Mikael Backlund spoiled it by scoring on a penalty shot.
With the game seeming out of reach for the Flames, it was shaping into an uninteresting episode of the Drew Doughty versus Matthew Tkachuk saga until the 9:35 mark of the third period.
Hell broke loose as Tkachuk began to jab at a grounded Doughty repeatedly with his stick after the left winger was unable to out muscle the blueliner for the puck in the Kings’ zone.
It was a welcoming sign to see the Kings make the banner curse an afterthought by shaking it off with a statement win over a division rival. They thankfully don’t belong to Taylor Swift.
Up Next: The LA Kings leave the friendly confines of Staples Center to embark on a four-game road trip that begins on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.