Well Kings fans, I predicted Sutter would win tonight and I was right! After a disappointing loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings desperately needed this win against the Calgary Flames. The Kings are now 7th in the Western Conference thanks to their 4-1 victory. Go Kings!
There was hype surrounding the coaches as much as the players tonight. Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter faced his brother Brent Sutter – coach of the Calgary Flames for the first time as coaches. The Sutter family, famous for having six out of the seven brothers play in the NHL are used to competition between each other. The brothers could not be more different in looks and coaching styles, however, when interviewed, they both spoke in low, monotone voices – the only resemblance I could see.
The odds appeared to be stacked against the Kings when Bob Miller reported the Kings were 1-9-0 when playing at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Things heated up quickly between Kings’ Kyle Clifford and former King and current Flames player, Tim Jackman. At 14:06 Kings got their first power play when a hooking penalty was called on Olli Jokinen. I’ll admit I wasn’t too hopeful for this power play since the Kings are 23rd in the league in terms of power plays. They had two fairly good chances, but neither one proved to be a success.
Kings then got their first penalty with 6:62 left in the first period when Colin Fraser got called for roughing. This seemed like a lame call to me as it happened when he was skating back to the bench, stuck his arm out, and slightly shoved a Flames player. I wasn’t too worried, though, because the Kings really know how to kill a penalty. They didn’t let me down as they killed off their only penalty of that period, making their penalty killing percentage 88.9%. At the end of the first period, the score was 0-0. Shout out to Kings’ Rob Scuderi who played his 500th game tonight! What an accomplishment!
Mike Richards scored his 14th goal of the season 27 seconds into the 2nd period on a turnover in Calgary’s zone. Assists credited to Dustin Penner and Drew Doughty. About 40 seconds later, the Flames almost scored on a nice shot from Jarome Iginla. Kings’ NHL All-Star goalie, Jonathan Quick, made an awesome save to help the Kings keep their lead. At 3:02, three sweet passes lead to another Kings’ goal. This time from defenseman and assistant captain Matt Greene assisted by Jarret Stoll and Mike Richards. The second period had so much energy from both sides that time just seemed to fly by. The Kings played aggressively like they were hungry for a win. Halfway through the second period, Kings got another power play when newly acquired Flames player Michael Cammalleri got called for holding. When Jarret Stoll was called for hooking, the Kings killed off another penalty. 14.88 into the second period, the Kings power play drought was finally answered when assistant captain Anze Kopitar got his 14th goal of the season and his 399th point. I had been worried about Kopi after the hit he took on Thursday, and this really eased my mind. With 4:56 left, Calgary got their power play goal from Michael Cammalleri. It was his first goal back in a Flames uniform and the first goal for the Flames in this game. Second period concluded with a Kings lead of 3 to 1.
About 7 minutes into the 3rd period, Flames’ Mark Giordano hit Anze Kopitar a little below the knees in a knee-on-knee collision. The official call was tripping. Kopitar has been injury-prone these last two games and seeing as that he’s such a valuable player, I was concerned. The Kings’ power play was unsuccessful however, leaving them with only 1 successful power play out of four tonight. Kings’ captain Dustin Brown secured the lead with a goal on an empty net to give the Kings a three goal lead. This game further proved why Jonathan Quickwas named to the NHL All-Star Game with his 29 saves. With the help of Quick, Los Angeles put out Calgary’s “flame” and won the game 4 to 1. The Los Angeles Kings will be taking on the Oilers tomorrow, Sunday, January 15 at 5:00 pm in Edmonton.
So get some sleep tonight boys, you’ve got an early game against Edmonton tomorrow!