Kings 4, Calgary Flames 1
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: Kings coach Darryl Sutter returned to Calgary for the first time since he resigned as general manager a little more than a year ago and showed the home crowd what they were missing. The Kings continued their recent offensive surge by scoring three goals in the second period and cruising to a 4-1 victory Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
THE STAT: The Kings recorded more than two goals in a period for just the fourth time this season and the first since Nov. 17, when they scored three in the third period of a 5-3 victory against the Ducks, though the final goal by Mike Richards that night was into an empty net.
TURNING POINT: After failing to take a shot on goal for nearly eight minutes to start the game and getting out-shot, 11-6, overall in the opening period, the Kings scored 27 seconds into the second when Flames defenseman Mark Giordano committed a turnover near his own blue line. Richards jumped on the puck and took off on a breakaway, beating Calgary goalie Mikka Kiprusoff on a backhand from in close. Dustin Penner and Drew Doughty were awarded helpers on the play.
HOT: Kings center Anze Kopitar, who was just thankful to play in this game after taking a hard hit against Dallas on Thursday night that forced him to miss the last seven minutes of regulation, as well as overtime and the shootout, provided the Kings a 3-0 lead with 5:12 left in the second period, poking the puck past Kiprusoff to give him a goal in three straight games … The Kings have scored 13 goals in their last three games altogether.
NOT: The Flames had 13 giveaways in the game, compared to three for the Kings. Defenseman T.J. Brodie was the biggest culprit, committing three turnovers.
GOOD MOVE: Former Kings star Bernie Nicholls has been seen around the practice facility in El Segundo giving his input. Nicholls has now joined the Kings on the road and it appears he’s providing hints to the power-play unit. They scored again Saturday night, giving them five man-advantage goals in last three games
BAD MOVE: Giordano delivered a knee-to-knee hit on Kopitar with 13 minutes remaining in the game, resulting in a tripping pain and some obvious pain on the face of Kopitar. He remained in the game however.
NOTABLE: Kings defenseman Matt Greene scored the second goal for the Kings, giving his a career-high three this season. Richards had a hand in that one too, stealing the puck from the newest member of the Flames, Michael Cammalleri. Richards got the puck to Jarret Stoll, who got it to Greene, who fluttered his shot past Kiprusoff with Penner using his big body to screen the goalie.
UP NEXT: at Edmonton, Sunday, 5 p.m. PT