Kings Require a Shootout (Again), But Fall to Flames 2-1

Kyle Clifford drops the gloves with Tim Jackman in the first period. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

A Sutter vs. Sutter rematch, albeit one with a little less hype, saw Brent crowned champion this time as his Calgary Flames eked out a 2-1 shootout victory against the Kings.

Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri scored on both of their attempts, while it was only Justin Williams who was able to record a shootout goal for Los Angeles. The overtime loss marks the sixth of Darryl Sutter’s tenure as head coach and the Kings’ tenth of the season—tied with Florida for most in the league.

Jonathan Quick, while solid in stopping twenty-four of the twenty-five shots he faced, received his twentieth (combined overtime and regulation) loss of the season.

Dustin Brown gave the Kings only their twentieth first period goal of the season—that’s twenty out of forty-eight games or a less-than-stellar 41% of the time they are able to light the lamp in the first period. Also a trend that should be surprising for no one to learn is among the worst in the NHL.

A defensive drubbing of Calgary in that first period (which saw the opposition record a mere three shots on net) gave way to a lifeless second in which neither team was able to make two passes in a row, let alone grab a quality scoring chance. Of course, the exception being Calgary’s lone tally, courtesy of captain Jarome Iginla power play goal on the heels of a forgettable two-many-men penalty for Los Angeles. Trevor Lewis was left without a stick while on the penalty kill, which gave Iginla all the time in the world to rifle a shot right underneath Jonathan Quick’s blocker.

The third period contained a little more drama but exactly zero goals from either side, thanks largely to solid goaltending on both ends of the ice. The Kings found themselves in an overtime contest for the tenth time in the last sixteen games. It certainly has become a rare occasion when sixty minutes of play is enough for this team to determine a winner, no matter who they are playing.

Even with five minutes of 4-on-4 and all the extra ice space which that entails, very few chances were generated before a shootout was necessitated. Quick was absolutely the best Kings player on that ice during that time, as evidenced most clearly by a beautiful Dominek Hasek-esque stacking of the pads to prevent a late Calgary goal.

But in the end, it all gave way to another overtime loss and a sole point earned in defeat.

The loss does little to affect the Kings’ current seventh place spot in the Western Conference, but it does continue the alternating win/loss pattern to an impressive twelve consecutive games. Seriously, nearly a month of back-and-forth wins and losses with seemingly no end in sight? Where is the record book? And more importantly for Kings fans—the Pepto Bismol?

INJURY UPDATE: As reported by Yahoo!, forward Simon Gagne does not appear close to returning anytime soon. Gagne suffered a concussion during a late December game against Phoenix and has not returned to practice or even participated in any hockey-related activities to this point. The thirty-one-year-old winger has a history of concussions, most notably as a Philadelphia Flyer during the 2007-08 season when he was sidelined for fifty-seven games.