Kings Douse Flames, 6-2
The Kings are 7-1-1 in their past nine games against the Calgary Flames. Matchup number ten will take place in less than 48 hours as the teams line up again in the Staples Center Monday night.
Tonight's 6-2 victory puts the Kings in fourth place in the Western Conference with 28 points (13-8-2). Balance is the operative word to describe the Kings performance, scoring in all three periods with six different scorers.
Jeff Carter continued his scoring tear with a power play goal 4:18 into the game. The Kings' forward has scored six goals in the past four games, thirteen in the last thirteen, and with seventeen on the season Carter is second in the league trailing Steve Stamkos with nineteen.
Puck movement on the extra-man opportunity was quick and unselfish. Dustin Brown received a pass from Slava Voynov on the left side of the crease. With Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff out of position it looked like Brown would have scored until he waited for the goalie to rotate over and he delivered a pass to an open but surprised Carter who one timed the pass into the net.
Jake Muzzin scored his fifth goal of the season on a snapshot halfway into the first period. The rookie is a key contributor and unrelenting shooter who has helped the Kings in the offensive zone while Drew Doughty continues to struggle. Trevor Lewis scored with 1:37 left in the first period, his fourth of the season.
The three goal first period is the Kings highest offensive output in the opening period this season. Los Angeles is now 8-1-1 this season when they score first.
An explosive Calgary offense managed to keep the game close with goals in the first period by Michael Cammalleri and Alex Tanguay. The Flames entered the game with the eigth best power play unit (20%) and Cammalleri capitalized on a two-man advantage to even the game at one.
Just after Cammalleri's goal Jarrett Stoll and Voynov found themselves in the penalty box for another two-man Calgary advantage. The Kings stifled the opportunity with a couple of Jonathan Quick saves (finished with 17) and timely clears.
Tanguay was the benefactor of a three on two break and put in a shot right on the crease with 17 seconds left in the first period.
Voynov recorded his third assist after firing a shot which was deflected by Justin Williams halfway through the second period. This is Voynov's second three-assist game and has 12 assists on the season.
Anze Kopitar and Colin Fraser scored in the third period to seal the game. Kiprussoff was pulled after Fraser's goal and replaced by Joey MacDonald. Tonight's game was Kiprussoff's fourth game of the season due to a knee injury, the goaltender is now 1-3. Monday's game could see different goalies in the net as the Kings rotate between Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier while the Flames may be reluctant to start the struggling Kiprussoff.
The physicallity picked up after the game was out of reach. Tim Jackman and Colin Fraser confronted each other in a fight that resulted in more spinning than punching. Jackman and the Fraser may have set the tone for Monday's game.
Third Star - Justin Williams
Second Star - Anze Kopitar
First Star - Slava Voynov