After what was a disappointing outcome against the Dallas Stars for many reasons, the Flames were right back to work against the lowly Los Angeles Kings. The Flames held the edge in the season series, after previously blanking the Kings on home ice early in the season.
It has been a season to forget already for the Kings, who after 26 games are all ready to toss in the towel and look ahead to the future. Speaking of which, goalie prospect Calvin Petersen was in between the pipes last night, pitted against the Flames’ Mike Smith.
The Flames got off to the hot start this time around, as Mikael Backlund‘s weak shot found its way through Petersen on the first shot of the game. The score would stay that way until midway through the second frame, where the Kings’ seventh shot of the game would squeak through Smith on the short side.
In what can only be described as the most boring game of the season, the third period offered slightly more entertainment for Flames fans. In a two minute span, Smith made a fantastic save in the slot, which eventually led to a scoring chance by Austin Czarnik on the other side of the ice. That scoring chance would end up drawing a slashing call, leading to a power play opportunity for the Flames.
After previously hitting three posts earlier in the game, Johnny Gaudreau would not be denied this time around. Early in the power play, Gaudreau finally was able to put a puck past Petersen for his 10th goal of the year, making him the fourth Flame to hit that mark. This would stand as the game winner, as the Flames would add two empty net goals to finish with the 4-1 win.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- The Flames’ fourth line of Garnet Hathaway, Mark Jankowski, and Ryan Lomberg were the three worst players in terms of possession. They posted 50.0%, 45.5%, and 41.7% respectively
- Sean Monahan posted a game high CF% of 82.6%, with his line mates Elias Lindholm and Gaudreau close behind with 75.0% and 74.1% respectively
- TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano were one the ice for 6 HDCF, with only 1 HDCA
Los Angeles Kings
- The Kings didn’t have a single player post a positive possession rating, but did have four players at an even 50.0%
- They did have four players post sub 30.0% CF%, with Jeff Carter posting a game worst 24.1%
- Jake Muzzin was on the ice for 5 HDCA
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Czarnik – Ryan – Neal
Lomberg – Jankowski – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Hamonic
Los Angeles Kings
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Clifford – Carter – Toffoli
Wagner – Kempe – Luff
Thompson – Amadio – Rempal
Forbort – Doughty
Muzzin – Martinez
Phaneuf – Ladue
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
Outside of the two minute sequence in the third that included Smith’s save and Gaudreau’s goal, last night was outrageously boring. No disrespect to the Kings, but they are an absolutely dreadful team. You feel for their fans if they is what they see night in and night out.
The Kings were only able to muster 14 shots on goal, but Smith never looked like he was 100% comfortable. Yes his save in the third was great, as I have mentioned three times already, but until the empty net goals this felt like a game that easily could have had another softie sneak past Smith.
Shades of 2017-18 flashed through my mind during this game. The Flames dominated the Kings across all statistical categories, had the majority of the scoring chances, but never were able to build upon a lead. Luckily, Johnny was finally able to shake off the hit posts and get the game winning goal in the third.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Gaud: After going goalless in his previous 10 games, Backlund scored two last night in addition to an assist. That gives him five points over his previous three games.
Bad: Is it a cop-out to say the game itself? Because that is what I am going with from an entertainment perspective.
Beautiful: One more time!
Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks
Standings: 6th in Central
Season Series: 1-0-0