The Calgary Flames, fresh off a big win against the San Jose Sharks that secured them top seed in the West, took on the LA Kings last night. The Flames rested several key players in this contest, including Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, and Matthew Tkachuk.
Long story short, the Flames made quick work of the Kings in a 7-2 drubbing at the Staples Center. Derek Ryan opened the scoring in the second minute of the first, with Oliver Kylington picking up the primary assist in his first back after a lengthy absence. The Kings answered back with a goal from Kyle Clifford. Midway through the period, the Flames took the lead again with a goal from Sam Bennett, only to be answered once again with a tying marker from Dustin Brown. The score was even at two apiece heading into the second.
From that point on, it was all Flames. They scored five unanswered goals to blow the Kings out with goals from Johnny Gaudreau (his 97th point), James Neal, Ryan again, Andrew Mangiapane (his eighth of the year), and Mark Jankowski.
Rittich was excellent stopping 23 of 25 Kings shots, and in the process broke the record for wins by a goalie post-Kiprusoff, as well as giving the Flames their 50th win of the season.
Never in doubt.
|All Situations||5v5||5v5 SVA|
5v5 Player Stats
- Michael Frolik led the Flames with 68.8% CF
- James Neal led with 78.7% SCF
- Every single Flames skater finished at or above 50% CF
- Jeff Carter led the Kings wtih 66.7% CF
- Ilya Kovalchuk was a game-worst 20.0% CF (4-16)
- Anze Kopitar finished at 23.5% SCF
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Frolik – Quine – Czarnik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Fantenberg – Andersson
Valimaki – Stone
Kylington – Prout
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Grundstrom – Kempe – Toffoli
Clifford – Carter – Lewis
Wagner – Amadio – Kovalchuk
Forbort – Doughty
Walker – MacDermid
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
Let’s be honest, this game didn’t matter even a little bit. The Flames played without six regulars in the lineup and still came away with a ridiculous 7-2 victory. The Flames are a really good team and are really hitting their stride in the homestretch of the season.
It was nice to see Tkachuk scratched in this one. The team’s number one focus is the playoffs now, and having more Tkachuk-Drew Doughty shenanigans isn’t productive at this point.
The competition was weak, but Rittich was excellent in net. I still think he should be the goalie to start in game one for the Flames but it sure looks like Bill Peters will turn to Mike Smith. We can’t guess at how that’s going to go, but I wait with baited breath.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: The Flames pumped seven goals past Quick. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, their offence is clicking and that’s a great sign heading into the playoffs.
Bad: Bennett left the game with an injury. Peters said he was okay after the game, but something to keep an eye on.
Beautiful: James Neal now has a multi game point streak after registering two points last night.
Opponent: Anaheim Ducks
Standings: 7th in Pacific Division
Season Series: 2-1-0
Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images