On a night of deflections, the Kings continue their straight path forward.
Calgary’s Joni Ortio battled traffic throughout the evening at Scotiabank Saddledome as the Kings buried three well-executed goals on shot-deflections in close-proximity of Calgary’s crease to secure a 3-2 victory.
The Kings have now won eight consecutive games, and six straight at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome.
Another early appearance from this synchronized offense put Calgary on their heels, as the Kings built a 2-0 lead on the Flames in the first 10 minutes of tonight’s affair.
The Kings jumped on the scoreboard on a well-executed zone entry from Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar in the opening minutes. The two traded lanes as they entered Calgary’s zone, and read each other’s paths on a dime to complete a perfectly timed play.
After Williams shoveled the puck to Kopitar upon entering the Flames’ zone, he headed straight toward Calgary’s net, where Kopitar found him with a pass, which deflected off Williams’ skate past Joni Ortio for his 17th goal of the season to give the Kings a 1-0 lead 4:05 into the game.
Minutes later, Kyle Clifford fed Slava Voynov a pass atop Calgary’s zone, who then rifled a puck from the point, where Trevor Lewis got a stick on Voynov’s shot to redirect it past Calgary’s netminder.
Lewis’ fourth goal of the season, and his second in as many games, gave the Kings a 2-0 lead 10:00 into tonight’s contest.
Anze Kopitar would join the evening’s redirection party, changing the path of a Drew Doughty shot for his 20th goal of the campaign to give the Kings a 3-0 lead with 12:59 remaining in the third period.
Things looked safe at this point for the Kings, as well did the chances of Martin Jones shutting out the Flames for the second time in 10 days.
The penalty box hampered the Kings late, when Mike Richards was called for a ‘delay of game’ penalty with 4:57 to play after inadvertently shooting the puck over the glass in the Kings’ zone.
It was the Flames’ first goal on Martin Jones in 115:29 minutes, a span of nearly two games, six periods.
Brian McGrattan gave the Kings a scare, as he cut the Flames’ deficit to 3-2 with 2:22 to play, beating Martin Jones on a rebound through traffic from atop the crease.
The Kings would hold on for a 3-2 win, securing their eighth win in a row, tying the season series against Calgary (2-2), and winning their sixth consecutive game at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Martin Jones, who made 24 saves on Calgary’s 26 shots tonight, has earned his second NHL win in the same building he played in as a member of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen over the course of four seasons.
The Kings’ record now stands at 38-22-6, which is good for 82 points, situating them at sixth-place in the Western Conference. The Kings remain 11 points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for the Pacific Division’s third and final guaranteed playoff spot.
It’s back to Los Angeles for the Kings, where they’ll kick off a five-game home stand Thursday night at STAPLES Center against the Toronto Maple Leafs.