Kings Fall Out of Playoff Picture with Loss to Flames
Jonathan Quick searches for his goalie mask. No word yet on if he found his team's offense as well. (Photo courtesy of Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)
With Rick Nash trade rumors swirling and the offense sputtering, something has to give soon for this club. However, it didn’t happen last night as the Kings were shutout for the eighth time this season and dealt a 1-0 defeat by the visiting Calgary Flames.
Mikka Kiprusoff was spectacular in net for the opposition, stopping all twenty-eight shots he faced including several highlight reel saves to keep Los Angeles off the board entirely for the second game in a row.
On the other end, Jonathan Quick remained solid with the exception of a lone third period goal from Mike Cammalleri, who continues to haunt his former organization seemingly whenever he gets a chance to match up against them. Cammalleri was chosen forty-ninth overall by the Kings in the 2001 Entry Draft, played the next five seasons with the club before departing and has now scored twice in two games this season against the Kings.
A lackluster first period gave way to a dominating second frame for the Kings, who despite not being able to net any one of their scoring chances, still outshot the Flames 12-2. The most notable chance came from Mike Richards, whose backhanded attempt from just outside the crease couldn’t make it past the outstretched glove of Kiprusoff.
At about four minutes into the third period, Cammalleri parked himself mere feet in front of Quick and fired a quick wrist shot past Quick upon receiving spectacular cross-ice pass from Tom Kostopoulos. It eventually, yet not surprisingly, turned out to be the game-winner. One last quality chance from the Kings came a few minutes later, but Matt Greene’s slapshot from the point beat the Calgary goaltender but rang loudly off the post.
Vezina candidate Quick was dealt yet another tough loss. In his sixteen regulation losses this season, the Kings have scored a total of sixteen goals. This showing comes off the heels of another 1-0 loss Thursday night against Phoenix. They have been held to one goal or less eight times in the past twelve games and twenty-three times in fifty-nine games. For those able to quickly compute percentages in their head, that’s 66% of the time in the last dozen games and 38% on the season.
The Kings remain the league’s worst offense through fifty-nine games, averaging 2.03 goals per game and a total of 120 on the season. Their last even strength goal came exactly one week ago against Dallas.
Most importantly, the loss drops Los Angeles to ninth place in the Western Conference. They are tied with Calgary in points with sixty-five, yet slide to the latter slot by virtue of tie-breakers. With some key divisional games on the horizon, the find themselves looking further and further up at the San Jose Sharks, who currently hold a four point lead over the Kings with three less games played.
Something has to break here soon. And not just for Jonathan Quick’s sake, but the organization’s as a whole.