On the heels of three straight victories and increasing their point cushion on the Western Conference to six points, the Flames were back in action against the Los Angeles Kings. The second worst team in the NHL this season didn’t present an interesting match-up, but pre-game comments from Drew Doughty made things much more interesting. Mike Smith would get his third straight start as David Rittich was still under the weather.
Smith didn’t get off to the start he wanted, as just 57 seconds into the game a Derek Forbort point shot would sneak past Smith. From there on, the Flames would begin to control play and it stayed that way through the opening forty minutes. The Flames would have three separate power play opportunities, but were unable to capitalize.
Throughout the majority of game, Jack Campbell was extremely sharp. With shots being 31-14 in favour of the Flames, it was safe to say he was the difference maker last night.
The next goal wouldn’t come until halfway through the third period, where the Kings would convert on a two-on-one with a goal from Jason Brodzinski. With the Kings’ lead now 2-0, the Flames looked to be climbing an insurmountable mountain, yet they’ve been known to do so many times before.
The Flames peppered Campbell with plenty more shots, but Campbell continued to shut the door. Pulling the goalie early would not work well for the Flames, as the Kings added an extra tally to take the contest 3-0.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- The top pairing dominated in terms of possession. T.J. Brodie posted a CF% of 90.9% and Mark Giordano posted an equally impressive 85.2%
- The Flames had 10 players post CF%’s over 70%
- The Flames lowest possession player, Andrew Mangiapane, posted a 59.1% which was 12.0% higher than the best Kings player
- The Kings didn’t have a single player post a positive possession rating
- Tyler Toffoli posted a team high CF% of 47.1%
- Brodzinski got a goal, but posted a dreadful CF% of 16.7%
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Frolik – Jankowski – Neal
Hathaway – Ryan – Czarnik
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Grundstrom – Kempe – Toffoli
Clifford – Carter – Lewis
Wagner – Brodzinski – Macdermid
Forbort – Doughty
Walker – Phaneuf
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
The Flames were due for a poor performance, and last night constitutes as one. While the Doughty-Tkachuk subplot was entertaining, the rest of the hockey wasn’t quite there. Sure, the Flames were able to out-shoot the Kings 42-20 and dominate the majority of the game, they just couldn’t solve Campbell.
Mike Smith may have gotten off to a rough start, but he settled in nicely. Can’t really fault him for the performance last night because he didn’t get any goal support, but also he made some amazing saves during key moments. With Rittich under the weather, it looks like the main factor behind Smith making a third straight start isn’t performance related. While the loss is not Smith’s fault, I would expect Rittich to be back in net on Wednesday.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly
Good: Smith’s numbers may not look great, but he also made a couple of huge stops that kept the Flames around.
Bad: Sean Monahan looked like a non-factor yet again. Is there a nagging injury we are unaware of?
Ugly: The Flames went 0/4 on the power play last night, often looking dreadful at best.
Opponent: Dallas Stars
Standings: 4th Place in Central
Season Series: 0-1-1
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images