Darryl Bests Brent in Sutter Battle, Kings Win 4-1
The Kings are now 7-1-3 under Darryl Sutter. (photo courtesy of NHL.com)
If one were to get caught up in all the subplots surrounding last night’s game between Los Angeles and Calgary, one might forget that there actually was, you know, sixty minutes of hockey to be played. Yes, one Sutter (Darryl) went toe-to-toe with another (Brent) and Mike Cammalleri scored in his much ballyhooed return to the Flames, but it was Darryl and the Kings who came out on top by a 4-1 score.
After a scoreless and offensively challenged first period for the Kings, they would quickly grab two in a three-minute span. Mike Richards scored his first in the last ten games and Matt Greene added another with a seeing-eye wrister from the blue line and past Calgary’s Mikka Kiprusoff.
Several moments later, a scrum in front of the Los Angeles saw several bouts of pushing and shoving from both sides, but it was an errant cross-check that was called for a penalty and gave the Kings a power play. Anze Kopitar netted a tally in the man-advantage to give his team a 3-0 lead with 14:48 remaining in the second period.
Calgary scored at the tail end of the frame to make it the game somewhat competitive, but the lead would prove to be insurmountable. An empty netter from Dustin Brown in the contest’s waning minutes sealed it and Los Angeles earned the victory, their twenty-second of the season. Along with eight overtime losses, it puts the Kings at fifty-points for the year, good enough for second in the Pacific division and seventh in the conference.
Darryl Sutter downplayed any extra significance heading into the game, but you could tell the win meant a little more to him the most others. Although some players offered their own take on the intensity of the day’s proceedings. “He was pretty intense all day,” Dustin Penner quipped, “The way he spoke, and what he said, you could tell this meant a lot to him, and we’re happy to get it for him.”
Jonathan Quick stopped nearly everything that came his way, save for a power play goal from Cammalleri that came with a few minutes left in the second period. From that point on, the opposition’s offense was shut down, as they only managed seven shots in the third period.
All in all, it was a solid, suffocating effort from the Kings. They’ve earned points in almost all of their games with Sutter behind the bench, but have had trouble stringing together two consecutive wins. They’ll look to do just that with a Sunday night game in Edmonton.