Calgary and Los Angeles go the distance with a shootout against the Kings
The top two teams from the Pacific have met for only the second time so far in 2021-22. Few people would have put the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings at the top of the division, but that’s where they are. While the game had little implications for the Flames’ playoff chances, it’s still a potential four-point game that could either create even greater separation for the Flames in the standings or allow the Kings to close in on the number one seed.
The Kings were coming in fresh off a shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers, so they were a tired team. That showed right away in the first half, as the Flames had more chances in volume in the first half. However, the Kings actually had the lion’s share of scoring chances and had more Grade A opportunities that didn’t convert.
The game went scoreless after one, as Jacob Markstrom and Cal Petersen were on point.
On the first shift, the Flames’ top line had a rare blunder that resulted in a turnover during a line change, and the Kings took advantage of the opportunity. Alex Iafallo had no defender on him as he took on Markstrom one-on-one and ended up beating the Flames goaltender to open the scoring.
Calgary replied throughout the period, but failed to score. Within 40 minutes of play, the Kings held a clinic on how to handle a back-to-back game. The Flames were stuck in the neutral zone and couldn’t generate strong offensive streaks at all.
As frustrating as it was for the Flames, it was a good test to see how they can play against a team like the Kings, especially since they could very well be a potential playoff opponent. However, Calgary wasn’t really able to resolve that part of their game very well and the Kings held on to a 1-0 lead going into the third.
Luckily for Calgary, the third period opened on a power play. The first unit couldn’t score, but when the second unit arrived, Johnny Gaudreau was the last player and stayed on the ice before changing. Score a Gaudreau goal with assists from Calle Jarnkrok and Noah Hanifin – a rare combination that connects for the tying goal.
The puck was shot wide by Hanifin, ricocheted off Jarnkrok to Johnny stationed in the far circle with a wide open net to sweep the puck away.
Later in the period, the Flames earned their first lead of the game when Erik Gudbranson’s shot from the blue line went through traffic directly into the net. It would be his sixth goal of the season, having never scored more than four in a campaign before.
Seeking to stop the game at this point, the Flames instead surrendered an equalizer to the Kings. With a puck move behind the net, Phillip Danault sent a backhand pass below the goal line to Viktor Arvidsson for a quick one-timer that beat Markstrom.
The game would require more time to solve.
In overtime, Elias Lindholm was called for holding, and the Kings went 4-on-3 on the power play. However, they couldn’t solve Markstrom, and despite six shots in overtime, the game would require a shootout – the second back-to-back Kings shootout in as many nights.
Lias Andersson scored the only goal in the shootout and the Kings ultimately ruined the night for the Flames. 3–2 Kings, final score. The Flames now have 89 points in 67 games played while the Kings trail with 84 points in 70 games.
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