Kings @ Flames Recap: Awful Game Becomes Less-Awful Shootout Loss
The Kings recover from a rough start to send it to a shootout, but Karri Ramo follows up 41 saves with three more in the shootout.
This game was highly unpleasant for 35 minutes. The Los Angeles Kings rewarded the people who continued watching by storming back from a 3-0 deficit to earn a point, before generously letting the Calgary Flames take the bonus point in front of their fans.
We'll go through those 35 minutes quickly, because you don't want to read about it and I don't want to write about it. Jonathan Quick's sort-of-nemesis opened the scoring, as T.J. Galiardi took a pass from Mike Cammalleri and rang his backhand off two posts and in. Quick looked shaky right from the get-go tonight, and his improvedI'm obligated to mention that the Kings did outshoot the Flames 11-7 in the opening period, but there was a distinct lack of energy to speak of. LA was, of course, without Drew Doughty and Robyn Regehr, but Calgary's injury list is quite a bit longer. No excuses there.
Sean Monahan's 21st goal of the season made it 2-0 early in the second period, on an assist from Galiardi. Probably should've given Justin Williams an assist, as he showed no urgency in the defensive zone and had the puck plucked from his stick. T.J. would later complete the Galiardi Hat Trick by accidentally-on-purpose bumping into Jonathan Quick after the whistle, while Matt Stajan would score the third goal with about five minutes to go in the second off of Kenny Agostino's first career assist. Maybe it's our fault for mocking Agostino and Calgary's return in the Jarome Iginla trade; it's always the ones you make fun of, huh?
Anyway, the Kings had the bulk of the shots but were down 3-0. They quickly made up for that, putting two shots past Karri Ramo in 24 seconds. Jarret Stoll tipped a Slava Voynov point shot with traffic in front for the first, and Kopitar made a sweet little move for the second (and his 26th of the season). After two periods, the Kings had doubled up the Flames in shots (26-13), so they took it easy in the third.
No, wait. Actually, they outshot Calgary 18-5 the rest of the way.
However, the only one of those eighteen shots to find the net was Dwight King's third-period goal, which was a weird one. Jake Muzzin took the shot from the point as King was screening Karri Ramo, but instead of getting through, the shot deflected off of King and looped over Ramo's shoulder. Either way, tie game! Credit to Ramo, who stopped everything else to ensure that the game got as far as overtime. Ramo turned away five more shots to force a shootout, where Marian Gaborik gave the Kings their first "lead" by scoring in the second round. However, the Flames' third (Jiri Hudler) and fourth (Monahan) shooters both beat Quick, and Darryl Sutter inexplicably went back to Mike Richards. Richards was stopped to seal a 4-3 defeat.
Good things tonight? It was a penalty-free game on both sides, which hasn't happened in a Kings game since 1977. Every single King was at 50% or above in Corsi. Andrew Campbell got to play again, and helped clear the crease a few times. And the Kings didn't allow a last-minute goal in a tie game against Calgary, which is progress. Other than that? Move forward, get better goaltending, try not to fall behind by three goals, and play well in Edmonton.
Oh, and San Jose looms on the horizon...