Game 80; 45-28-7
CALGARY - If the first half of the game was any indication, the Los Angeles Kings had completely checked out. Since clinching a playoff spot - in addition to third in the Pacific - the Kings played like a team who had fully taken their foots off the gas. After losses tin San Jose and Vancouver, the silver-and-black were looking to avoid a three-game losing streak. But Wednesday's game in Calgary did get off to a promising start.
To put it lightly, the Kings looked sluggish to open their contest vs. the Flames. Despite having been off since Saturday, many of the Kings looked as if they had pulled all-nighters. A familar foe from his days in Colorado and San Jose, TJ Galiardi struck first against Los Angeles, scoring his fourth of the year at the 11:58 mark of the first period. It was the only goal in the frame.
In the second, the Flames continued to take advantage of a lethargic Kings squad. Exactly four minutes into the second, Sean Monahan continued his phenomenal rookie campaign with his 21st goal to put the Flames up by a pair. Then, at the 15:28 mark, Matt Stajan's 14th put Calgary up 3-0. Los Angeles was all but done. But not so fast.
While Flames netminder Karri Ramo entered Wednesday's contest having stopped 62 of his last 63 shots, the Kings weren't content to let the Finn have his way.
Just 41 seconds after Stajan's goal, Jarret Stoll deflected his eighth past Ramo to put the Kings on the board. Slava Voynov and Tanner Pearson drew the assists. Then, just 24 seconds later, Anze Kopitar found an opening in front of the Calgary net and backhanded his 26th home to make things interesting. That three-goal lead the Flames had was suddenly down to one. Marian Gaborik and Slava Voynov picked up the helpers.
In the third, the Kings tied it as, at the 12:48 mark, Dwight King, in his first game back from injury, tipped in a Jake Muzzin point shot to knot things up. The goal was King's 15th.
Despite allowing three unanswered goals, though, Karri Ramo was solid as he stopped 41 total shots.
This game went to overtime and then a shootout.
In the shootout, Marian Gaborik scored his second goal in the frame as a King in as many attempts to put his team out front. But on their last chance to extend it, the Flames did as Jiri Hudler slapped it past Jonathan Quick to tie. After Jeff Carter was stopped, Sean Monahan scored - and it stood as the game-winner as the Flames take the season series from Los Angeles 3-2, marking the first time in said series where the home team has won.
The aforementioned Slava Voynov had the most productive night of any of the Kings as he notched two assists. Dwight King looked good in his return as he registered five shots in addition to his goal. Justin Williams was on his game on this night, leading his team with eight shots. Jonathan Quick, while he did make some important saves, wasn't his usual self on this night. En route to stopping just 15 of 18 shots, there were multiple occassions when he bobbled pucks on otherwise routine plays. While it certainly isn't anything to throw red flags on, the Kings and their fans hope No. 32 will come out with a better performance in Los Angeles's season finale on Saturday, assuming he even plays.
But it's no rest for the Kings who finish off their road trip on Thursday night when they travel north to take on the Edmonton Oilers.