Calgary Flames Continue to Dominate Powerhouse Teams, beat Kings 4-2

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Now sitting just 5 points out of a wildcard playoff spot, the Calgary Flames continue to dominate against heavyweight contenders such as Boston, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. February 27th was no different for them as the Los Angeles Kings rolled into town. Even though LA was 6-3 under the new head coach Jim Holler to replace Todd Mclellan, and the last matchup between these two teams ended 5-3 in favor of the Kings, the emotional impact of the Flames win against Edmonton in the game prior maintained momentum coming into Tuesday, and the outcome was a convincing win against Cam Talbot and the Kings. Andrei Kuzmenko was out again with illness, and Adrian Kempe suffered an upper-body injury the night before against Edmonton, so he didn’t play either.

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The Flames started with good pressure, generating good chances and shot attempts in the first several minutes, but Trevor Lewis almost snuck the puck through to the back of the net. Jacob Markstrom was quick to react and make a sprawling save. The Flames, who had won three in a row and seven of their last ten, have outscored their opponents 15-8 during their three-game streak. They had the chance to increase this stat when Drew Doughty committed a slashing penalty against Noah Hanifin with 15:01 left in the period. The Kings penalty kill is first in the league, sitting at 86.2%, while Calgary’s power play is sitting at 30th in the league at a pitiful 14.5%. Going only 1/4 against Edmonton, this power play was unproductive again, even with two shots on net. The first period was intense and played as though it was already playoffs for both teams, the momentum and tempo maintaining for long stretches of time with good chances. Both Dryden Hunt and Jacob Peltier had very good chances against Talbot but were unable to get the puck past him. Jacob Moverare took a holding penalty against Nazim Kadri with 4 minutes left in the first, but once again, the Flames were unable to convert on the power play, despite a good chance from Mangiapane on a beautiful setup pass from Connor Zary, with 1:05 left in the power play. The Flames outshot the Kings 10-3 in the first.

Less than a minute into the second period, the Kings once again almost got a break with a sneaky backhand goal by Trevor Moore, but once again, Markstrom stood tall and made the save. He would be tested again heavily when the Kings were given another power play for a high-sticking call against Connor Zary. But the Flames went into the game on Tuesday with the fifth-best penalty kill in the league at 82.8%, while LA’s power play, sitting at 22.7%, is 12th in the league. They could not convert on the man advantage, and halfway through the second period, the shots on goal were 12-5 in favor of Calgary. Amazingly, the tempo and momentum of the game led to a period of almost eight minutes without a whistle, allowing Phillip Danault to score his 11th of the season with a slap shot just past the blue line at 12:08 in the second. The goal was assisted by Kevin Fiala (32) and Drew Doughty (21). But less than a minute later, at 12:56, Andrew Mangiapane scored his 12th goal of the season in what was his 400th career game. He was assisted by Noah Hanafin (23) and Jacob Markstrom (5). Mangiapane deked out Talbot with a backhand before finishing with a silky forehand that found twine. Almost a minute later, Blake Coleman would net his team, lading 24th goal off of a nifty deflection from Huberdeau’s shot. This also came after two outstanding saves at the other end of the rink by Markstrom. Three goals were scored in less than 1:45 seconds of the second period. The scoring didn’t stop there, though, with less than two minutes left. Kevin Fiala potted his 17th season to tie the game at two. Anze Kopitar (31) and Quinton Byfield (26) assisted on the goal.

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The third period, much like the previous two, consisted of intense back and forth and heavy pressure from both sides, causing both goalies to stand on their heads to make remarkable and game-saving stops. At one point, the Kings were able to hem the Flames in their own zone for almost two consecutive minutes, peppering shots on Markstrom. It was obvious the Calgary players were exhausted, but they held strong and were able to remove the pressure and dump the puck into the neutral zone for a line change they desperately needed. Markstrom, as he has all season, made remarkable saves to keep the game tied at two a piece. It took more than 12 minutes until the tie was broken, however, when Yegor Sharangovich walked easily into the Kings zone and snapped a nasty wrist shot right past Talbot, after the fourth line of the Flames generated some very good chances and momentum. Brayden Pachal took a high sticking penalty with less than 4 minutes left in the third, which allowed the Kings to pull Cam Talbot in order to gain the extra man advantage with just over two minutes left. However, a nifty shot from the middle of the Flames zone from Mikeal Backlund slid easily into the open LA net, and the game was sealed from there. LA had one more good chance, a bullet off the one time from Kevin Fiala, who was all over the ice for LA in the game, making an impact both negatively and positively for the Kings, but Markstrom once again made an impressive glove save with 9.9 seconds left. With a final score of 4-2, the Flames handed the Kings their second defeat in as many nights in Alberta. Jacob Markstrom faced 23 shots and stopped 21, while Cam Talbot faced 37 shots and stopped 34 of them.

The Flame’s next game is Saturday, March 2nd, against the Pittsburg Penguins at the Scotia Bank Saddledome, which is also the game in which Miikka Kiprusoff’s number and jersey will be retired for the Calgary Flames franchise, a very important game for players, fans and the organization as a whole. Puck drop is at 8:00 PM. Los Angeles is back in action on Thursday the 29th against Vancouver, in Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

One thought on “Calgary Flames Continue to Dominate Powerhouse Teams, beat Kings 4-2”

  1. Always enjoyable to read! A very knowledgeable lady that is eloquent and positive about the Calgary Flames games and club!

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