Kings at Flames: Deflection Almost Perfection
Eight wins! Eight wins! The Kings have eight consecutive wins!
Despite it being the second night of a back-to-back against a team that’s been inexplicably tricky this season, the Kings came out on top for another game. The streak continues.
The Calgary Flames had the first three shots of the game, but the Kings answered in the best way possible once they got a shot on goal. Justin Williams dropped off the puck with Anze Kopitar, who controlled it entering the offensive zone, sent a shot toward the net and right onto Williams’ stick, who tipped it behind Flames goaltender Joni Orio. The score was 1-0 four minutes into the game.
It felt so good that they went for another tip-in 12 minutes later. This time, after some great work along the boards to get it in deep, Kyle Clifford passed the puck out to an open Slava Voynov. Voynov took the shot and Trevor Lewis got enough of his stick on it to deflect the puck over Ortio. 2-0.
The Kings took a pair of penalties during the second period, but the penalty kill did excellent work to prevent the Flames’ from getting any real opportunities. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson actually had the best look, working together to set up a gorgeous shorthanded chance. Ortio had to make what was probably his biggest save of the night.
Pearson and Toffoli were great throughout the entire game. It’s a shame that neither of them made it onto the scoreboard, because it wasn’t for a lack of quality effort. Pearson got to play thanks to Jordan Nolan serving his one-game suspension, but the team didn’t miss Nolan at all on the ice. They were playing so well last night that they both saw time on the penalty kill and coach Darryl Sutter increased their even strength minutes, dropping Carter and Richards down as the game continued.
Looking like #LAKings forward lines have evolved to 12-11-14, 70-28-73, 74-22-23 and 13-10-77 tonight.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) March 11, 2014
Having a two-goal lead didn’t slow the Kings down much. They continued to outshoot the Flames in the third period. A second power play opportunity threatened to throw them off. Suddenly the effectiveness of the last few games abandoned them completely, and the Flames spent time in the Kings’ zone shorthanded. As they started to pick up steam from a stellar kill, however, the Kings scored again thanks to another deflection. This time it was Drew Doughty who teed it up, and Kopitar sent it into the net.
Instead of riding the Flames to a 3-0 shutout win, the Kings decided that it wasn’t fun if they weren’t inciting fear in their fans back home. They’d come out on top in pretty much every way against the Flames, finally, but where was the fun in that? So, they gave up a power play goal with less than five minutes left not long after goaltender Martin Jones had made a highlight save.
This goal against wasn’t so bad after review. Deflection success came back to bite the Kings. The puck deflected off of Voynov and past goaltender Martin Jones. Mike Cammalleri got credit for the goal.
It didn’t stop there. They gave up a second goal to Brian McGrattan with less than three minutes on the clock.
Hey, did you guys want to panic for the last couple minutes of this game?
Yes? Cool, here you are!
Luckily the Kings held on for a 3-2 win, but they had to turn a game that was a somewhat boring domination into a reason to worry. Duh, of course they did.
What is it about the Flames that makes things difficult for them this season? Why do the Kings have to play them one more time before the season ends? Ugh.
Forget all that, though, because the Kings won. Eight games! Thursday they return to Staples Center to play the Toronto Maple Leafs and have the opportunity to hit a few big numbers. Sutter could get his 500th win as a coach, Jonathan Quick could tie Rogie Vachon’s wins as a King, and the team could tie the longest franchise win streak at nine.
Do it, Kings! Do it, and then set records with the game after that.