The Calgary Flames put up two first-period goals, but then the Los Angeles Kings seized control of the game and scored three unanswered over the course of the next 40 minutes as the Flames flickered out and lost 6-2–though they will soon get a chance to try to turn things around a bit.
Jeff Carter, who is now just two goals behind Steven Stamkos for the league lead, scored on a power play about four minutes into the first to get things started, though Michael Cammalleri found an answer for him while also on the power play. Alex Tanguay sliced the lead to one to end the first after two more Kings goals, but then that was the end of it for the offensive productions from Calgary.
Miikka Kiprusoff‘s night even ended early and Joey MacDonald came on in relief during the third period, by which point the Kings had already scored all six goals they needed for the win.
To say it was a bad game for the Flames would be an understatement, especially considering that it was their second loss in two days and to two different California teams. It’s tough playing a back-to-back series no matter what, but travel was probably not the root cause of it, considering just how close the Honda Center and Staples Center are to one another. Sure, there were some encouraging factors from this game–Mikael Backlund is back from injury, Cammalleri is rather good at winning faceoffs, Matt Stajan put up his 300th career point when he helped out on Tanguay’s goal–but this was not a very good game for Calgary.
They will, however, get a chance at a do-over against the very same team. The Flames are staying in Tinseltown today and gearing up to face the Kings at home again on March 11.
But the stakes are higher than ever going into this rematch. Coach Bob Hartley put it very simply when he said “we have to win.” His team is currently mired in 12th place in the conference, but with 22 points, so adding two more through the upcoming meeting could help push them up higher toward playoff contention. Plus, should the Kings win this one, it will be their first season sweep of the Flames since the 1999-2000 season–a fate Calgary would certainly like to avoid.
The rematch between these two teams is one of just two NHL games tomorrow and it starts at 8 p.m. Mountain (10 p.m. Eastern).