Exactly eight days ago, the Los Angeles Kings hosted the Calgary Flames in Crypto.com Arena. The result of the Western Conference matchup was an 8-2 throttling by the Kings, which forced Calgary to pull their starting goalie, Jacob Markstrom, from the game and send out their backup, Dan Vladar.
This time around was different for the southern California squad as Jacob Markstrom played the whole game and recorded 32 saves on 33 shots, which was good enough for a .970 save percentage.
If you saw just the stats from the game eight days ago in comparison to the stats last night, you wouldn’t think that they were the same person. But they are. In the game eight days ago, Markstrom had 20 saves on 26 shots for a .769 save percentage. A below .800 save percentage is unfathomable for an NHL goaltender, which is why he was pulled from the game.
But, he came out for Dan Vladar to go in and also have a below .900 save percentage. The game in Crypto.com Arena was dominated from start to finish by the LA Kings. And this time, the game slowed down, fewer goals went in, and the Flames found a way to squeak out the win.
First Period: CGY 2, LAK 1
The opening twenty minutes were the most exciting as all three goals in the game were scored in the first period. Phillip Danault took a penalty for tripping Andrew Mangiapane approximately a minute into the game, which put the Flames on the power play.
Andrew Mangiapane struck his revenge quickly with a power-play goal off a rebound from an Elias Lindholm shot from the circle.
After the first goal, the puck exchanged hands multiple times. Joonas Korpisalo and Jacob Markstrom traded saves for roughly 10 minutes until the Kings were on a rush into the Flames’ zone and Sean Durzi sniped one top-shelf on Jacob Markstrom to tie the game at one apiece.
The tie lasted until the closing minutes of the period when Walker Duehr scored off a bank shot off the boards from Trevor Lewis.
The first period ended with a breakaway by Kevin Fiala in a one-on-one situation with Jacob Markstrom, and Markstrom got the best of him.
Second Period: CGY 2, LAK 1
The Kings nearly tied it up with a shot by Carl Grundstrom about halfway through the period. His shot hit the goalpost and bounced out, leaving the score at 2-1. And a few minutes later, Andrew Mangiapane launched a shot toward the net and the puck bounced on Elias Lindholm’s stick, giving him an easy opportunity to tip the puck in.
But, Joonas Korpisalo twirled around on the ground and managed to keep the puck out of the back of the net. A few minutes later, the Kings had yet another great chance to tie up the game, this time on a short-handed attempt. With about 6:30 minutes to go, Vladislav Gavrikov took an interference penalty against Walker Duehr.
Normally, the team with the man-advantage gets quality shot attempts, but Rasmus Kupari had a solid shot attempt, off a beautiful pass from Phillip Danault, on Jacob Markstrom in a short-handed attempt. Unfortunately, Kupari could not get it past him as Markstrom blocked it with the tip of his trapper.
In the dying minutes of the second period, LA defenseman Matt Roy took a penalty for slashing against Blake Coleman. So, the Kings were forced onto the penalty kill one more time, and came out of it unscathed yet again.
Third Period: CGY 2, LAK 1
As Los Angeles’ point streak was slowly coming to an end, five minutes into the final period Arthur Kaliyev tried to extend it a little longer as he had the puck behind the Flames’ net and attempted a wrap-around shot but got stuffed by Jacob Markstrom, yet again.
About 10 minutes later, Jonathan Huberdeau sent a beautiful cross-ice pass to Blake Coleman. But, Joonas Korpisalo tracked it down and kept the score 2-1. The Kings just could not solve Markstrom last night and it cost them their point streak.
But, another reason that can contribute to their loss is the number of times they had to kill a penalty. It put them in a 5-on-4 situation too many times and Calgary took advantage of it.