Los Angeles Hockey: Calgary Flames

Brown, Kings complete sweep of Flames

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
9:55
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Captain Dustin Brown scored two goals, Jonathan Quick made 23 saves and the surging Los Angeles Kings beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Monday night for their second win over the Flames in three days.

To read the full story, click this link.

Carter's latest goal helps Kings rout Flames

March, 9, 2013
3/09/13
10:30
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Carter opened the scoring with his 13th goal in 13 games, Justin Williams had a goal and two assists, and the Los Angeles Kings beat Calgary 6-2 on Saturday night in their first of back-to-back home games against the Flames.

For the full story, click this link.

Kings: Jonathan Quick breaks franchise record in win

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
10:01
PM PT
Los Angeles KingsGerry Thomas/NHLI/Getty ImagesKings players celebrate one of their goals during Wednesday's 3-0 win at Calgary.
Kings 3, Calgary Flames 0

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: When the Kings needed a victory most, their best player stepped to the forefront. Jonathan Quick established a new franchise record Wednesday night with his ninth shutout of the season, stopping 19 shots in the victory at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The victory, coupled with San Jose’s loss to the Ducks, moved the Kings from ninth to seventh in the Western Conference standings with five games remaining.

THE STAT: One of the most popular figures in franchise history, Rogie Vachon, owned the previous franchise mark of eight shutouts in 1976-77. The shutout is also the 10th of the season for the Kings, which ties a franchise record set in 2000-01.

TURNING POINT: The Kings came out ready and determined, getting three shots on goal in the opening 34 seconds and seven in the first 2:07. On No. 9, defenseman Willie Mitchell sent a slap shot through traffic and into the net 5:30 into the game. The goal was initially given to Justin Williams on a deflection but later awarded to Mitchell, his fifth of the season. Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov received assists on the play.

HOT: The penalty kill turned away all four power plays by the Flames, and Kopitar bounced back from a three-game points drought to record two assists, giving him 16 points in the last 15 games. Kopitar needs one more point in March to match his best month of the season (October).

NOT: Another frustrating night on the power play. The Kings went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage, leaving them one for their last 25. If they should make the playoffs, they won't get away with those numbers and expect to advance.

GOOD MOVE: The team captain Dustin Brown also stepped up and provided the Kings a 2-0 lead with his 20th goal of the season 4:22 into the second period. Drew Doughty got the puck ahead to Brown, who made a smooth drop pass between his legs to a trailing Kopitar. Brown then cut to the slot and Kopitar made a nice centering pass. Brown held onto the puck as he skated backwards with his left hip facing the goalie, then let go of a well-placed wrist shot that beat Miikka Kiprusoff cleanly. Brown has scored at least 20 goals in five straight seasons.

BAD MOVE: Mike Richards finished 3-for-13 in the faceoff circle and went without a point for the fourth consecutive game.

NOTABLE: The Kings received some additional good news when Vancouver held on Wednesday night to beat the Avalanche, 1-0, and keep Colorado two points behind the Kings in 10th. ... The Flames pulled Kiprusoff with about 2 minutes remaining and Williams scored an unassisted empty-net goal with 1:09 left on the clock, his 19th of the season. Williams is looking for his fourth 20-goal season ... the Kings won both games in Calgary for the first time in 11 years.

UP NEXT: Friday at Edmonton, 6:30 p.m. PT

Kings: Trying to avoid going down in Flames

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
10:54
AM PT

Kings (37-27-12, 86 points) vs. Calgary Flames (35-27-15, 85 points) at Scotiabank Saddledome, 6:30 p.m. PT

Five storylines to track:

1. Where they stand – Nothing has changed since Tuesday, when the Kings lost to Vancouver, 1-0, to drop out of the top eight in the Western Conference standings. They’re still one point back of eighth-place Phoenix and seventh-place Dallas, and just two points back of third-place San Jose, the Pacific Division leader. Calgary is one point behind the Kings in 11th. A loss for either team would be devastating at this juncture of the season. Expect both sides to play with both passion and desperation.

2. Offensively challenged, again– After the Kings scored 37 goals in 10 games following the trade for Jeff Carteron Feb. 23, it appeared the offensive woes were solved. Suddenly, they aren’t. The Kings have managed just two goals in the last three games, from a rookie defenseman and a fourth-line forward, throwing a bucket of cold water on their playoff run.

3. Still MIA – There’s still so much more to be expected from Mike Richards. After his nine-goal performance in November, things were especially giddy in L.A. But then he went down with a concussion on Dec. 1 and hasn’t been the same since, scoring just five goals since. The Kings need something out of Richards down the stretch here, even if it’s just an assist or two.

4. MIA No. 2Dustin Brown is the other forward who must come through in the last couple weeks if the King are going to slip into the postseason for a third consecutive year. He started a 10-game point streak the first game Carter played for the Kings, but has produced zero points in the last three. Brown has gotten away from his role, which is to hit people and meander around the goal crease in search of loose pucks.

5. Ex-factorMichael Cammelleri, who spent five seasons in a Kings uniform from 2002 to 2008, is playing some good hockey lately and he’d like nothing more than to stick it to the Kings. He had a goal and two assists Monday in a 5-4 victory against Dallas, knocking the Stars out of the Pacific Division lead. He has three goals and four assists in the last five games, and eight goals and seven assists in the 15 games since he was traded from Montreal to Calgary.

Kings: Offensive trouble continues in 1-0 loss to Flames

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
11:29
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- The Kings are running out of time, running out of answers and the patience meter has long run dry.

They lost their second straight home game Saturday night by a score of 1-0, and for the second consecutive game their out-of-town opponent leapfrogged them in the Western Conference standings.

This time it was the Calgary Flames that did the honors, scoring a third-period goal that held up behind 28 saves from goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. The loss lifted the Flames into eighth place and dropped the Kings into ninth. If the season ended today, L.A. wouldn’t make the playoffs after entering the season with enough talent and money spent to make a legitimate run at the Stanley Cup title.

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching and the Kings’ offense going from bad to worse, it’s only a matter of time before one or more members of the team is playing elsewhere.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter appeared as perplexed as ever following the game, and this time he took direct aim at his top line of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams, who failed to generate any offense for the second consecutive game.

“We’ve stuck with the Kopi and Brownie and Willy line and right now it’s just not working,” he said.

Brown, who has averaged 27 goals the last four seasons, is stuck on 13 with less than a third of the regular season remaining. Brown hasn’t scored since the Kings last played Calgary 30 days ago, a 2-1 shootout loss at Staples Center. Kopitar and Williams have been chipping in points here and there, but haven’t carried the team the way most playoff-bound top lines do.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Brown said. “I think it’s been frustrating all year for the players in here, the lack of scoring.”

Sutter was asked if now would be a good time to break the combination up. After a long pause, he simply answered, “How do you?”

(Read full post)

Kings: Still scoreless after two periods

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
9:11
PM PT
After the 2nd period:

Kings 0, Calgary Flames 0

The good: The Kings accomplished something they haven’t done all season during the second period. No, not score a goal. They held the Flames to just two shots on goal, a season-low for a period. The Kings took 12 SOGs themselves, but still can’t get the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff. Kings center Mike Richards had the best chance, getting to a loose puck as Kiprusoff was scrambling to cover the right side of the net. As he was making the splits, Richards tried to squeeze the puck in on the short side, but somehow shot it right into Kiprusoff’s glove. Justin Williams had another good chance with about 2 minutes left, pouncing on a rebound off a shot from Anze Kopitar, but he missed wide when he had room to score. When the third period begins, the Kings will have 36 seconds remaining on their third power play of the game.

The bad: This will be another tough loss if the Kings let these points get away. They’ve out-played the Flames on both ends of the ice but, once again, have nothing to show for it. They’ve gone five consecutive periods without scoring a goal, even though they’ve had chances galore in all five. There was once a time when the Kings were lamented for not being able to score more than two goals in 14 straight games. Two goals would be a bonanza now. Kopitar has lost 10 of 14 faceoffs.

The in between: Richards moved to point on the power play, giving the Kings four forwards and defenseman Drew Doughty on the first unit … Dustin Penner, given a one-game reprieve after sitting out the previous three games as a healthy scratch, must not be impressing coach Darryl Sutter much. He has the least amount of ice time of any player on the Kings.

Kings: Another scoreless opening period

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
8:13
PM PT
After the 1st period:

Kings 0, Calgary Flames 0

The good: Well, it’s the end of the first period here at Staples Center so it must be scoreless. In fact, it’s the 24th time in 59 games this season the Kings have played a scoreless opening period against their opponent. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is once again doing all he can to keep his team from falling behind, saving 10 shots in the first 20 minutes. The Kings were the best team on the ice the first 15, but the Flames were able to generate some good scoring chances down the stretch. His best save came with 1:40 remaining on a point-blank shot from the slot from Paul Byron, who was in the right place for a rebound. The crossbar also came through for the Kings in the final minute, as Krys Kolanos hit the iron on a wrister from 14 feet. Dwight King has two of the nine shots on goal for the Kings, a good start for the rookie forward. Dustin Brown also has two SOGs for the Kings. L.A. killed a power play in the opening period, its 23rd kill in the last 24.

The bad: The Coyotes beat Dallas in overtime a short while ago, meaning the Kings will remain in eighth place if they win tonight, or drop to ninth with a regulation loss.

The in between: Welcome back Dustin Penner. After being designated as a healthy scratch the last three games, the team’s fourth-highest paid player gets another whack at joining the lineup. According to reports from the morning skate, Penner is only getting a second-chance because enforcer Kevin Westgarth has a sore hand, which likely occurred during one of four fights by the Kings during Thursday’s 1-0 loss to the Coyotes. Penner has one shot on goal, one that was off target and a giveaway.

Kings: Holding off the Calgary stampede

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
7:36
AM PT
Kings (27-20-11, 65 points) vs. Calgary Flames (27-22-9, 63 points) at Staples Center, 7 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Tick, tick, tick – That sound you hear is the Kings running out of time and excuses. Sure, they played hard Thursday night against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes, fired up another sold-out crowd with a barrage of fisticuffs in the first period and even managed to create some Grade A scoring chances along the way. But the result was similar to so many others this season, a 1-0 loss that left the Kings clinging to the final playoff spot by two points. If they can’t find a way to average three goals a game down the stretch, it's doubtful they'll hold off the pack. And guess which team is currently leading the charge? The Calgary Flames.

LACGY2. What’s the problem? – By now, it’s pretty much out there that Kings have the worst offense in the NHL. How did they get here? One possibility could be the departure of Wayne Simmonds, Ryan Smyth, Michal Handzus and Alexei Ponikarovsky in the offseason. Especially if you consider Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Dustin Penner and Scott Parse were counted on to fill the voids in their first full seasons with the Kings. Instead, Gagne and Parse are out with long-term injuries, and Penner has been so ineffective he'll likely be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game.

3. Added concerns – If their precarious hold on the final playoff spot isn’t enough to draw concern, the thought of playing for another team by the end of the month should also weigh on the players’ minds. With some noticeable holes to address on the offensive end, it’s looking like the Kings will make a trade in the coming days, and they might be willing to dangle just about anybody to bring in a player who can put the puck in the net. Though there’s probably little preventing such a move from happening at this point, maybe an offensive outburst against Calgary might delay the search for a game or two.

4. Roster move – The Kings put Trent Hunter on waivers Friday, giving the rest of the league 24 hours to claim the 31-year-old right wing before he becomes eligible to be sent to the AHL. Hunter hasn't played in the minors since 2003. The move was made to clear a roster spot for Jarret Stoll, who’s eligible to come off injured reserve after missing the last three games with a minor hip injury. it's also a good sign for rookie forwards Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, allowing one or both to stick around a few more games while management tries to figure out what to do with their $4.25-million healthy scratch, Mr. Penner.

5. Brother vs. brother Part III – For the third time since he was hired in December, Kings coach Darryl Sutter will be matched against his younger brother, Brent. They split the first two meetings last month, although that seems like a decade ago considering how the stakes have become so much higher lately. The Flames escaped with a 2-1 shootout victory the last time they visited Staples Center on Jan. 19. We'll go on a limb and predict a similar low-scoring game.

Kings: Another trip to overtime, another shootout loss

January, 19, 2012
1/19/12
10:58
PM PT
Jonathan QuickGary A. Vasquez/US PresswireKings goalie Jonathan Quick has had a rough go in shootouts this season compared to last season.
Calgary Flames 2, Kings 1 (SO)

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: The Kings earned at least a point for the 15th time in the last 16 games but were beaten in a shootout when a shot by Kings forward Mike Richards was turned away by Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff at Staples Center.

THE STAT: The Kings have been tied at the end of regulation in 10 of the last 16 games, owning a 9-1-6 mark in that span.

TURNING POINT: The Kings appeared to take a 2-1 lead in the second round of the shootout, but video replays showed Jack Johnson nudged the puck across the goal line after a rebound from Kiprusoff. Second chances aren't allowed in NHL shootouts. Michael Cammalleri then scored for the Flames, forcing Richards to come through.

HOT: Kings winger Dustin Brown scored the lone goal for the Kings, jumping on a deflected shot in front of the net and shooting it past Kiprusoff for a 1-0 lead just 3:28 into the game. Brown has three goals and an assist in the last five games. Justin Williams was credited with an assist on the play, giving him three goals and six assists in the last seven.

NOT: The Kings continue to get dinged on the power play, giving up a man-advantage goal for the fifth straight game.

GOOD MOVE: Kiprusoff came up huge in overtime. A loose puck was sitting in the crease while he was lying on his side and Kings forward Dustin Penner took a swipe, but Kiprusoff kept his stick parallel to the ice and kept it out of the goal with 34 seconds left in the extra five-minute period.

BAD MOVE: On the Calgary goal, the Flames took advantage of a broken stick by Kings forward Trevor Lewis and got the puck over to Jarome Iginla, who beat Jonathan Quick to tie the score, 1-1, midway through the second period.

NOTABLE: Quick dropped to 4-6 in shootouts this season after finishing 10-0 a year ago.

UP NEXT: Saturday vs. Colorado at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.

Kings: Looking to make another point vs. Calgary

January, 19, 2012
1/19/12
9:30
AM PT
Kings (23-15-9, 55 points) vs. Calgary Flames (21-20-6, 48 points) at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Ties that bind: In eight of 14 games since Darryl Sutter was hired as head coach, the Kings have been tied with their opponent at the end of regulation. They’ve also scored 105 goals this season and given up 105. In the last 10 games, they’ve won five and lost five. With a victory against the Flames, they’ll have just as many wins as their combined losses in regulation, overtime and shootouts. The good thing is, they’ve come a long way from where they stood a month ago. Ties mean points, too, and the Kings have earned at least one in 14 of the last 15 games.

2. Them again: The Kings played Calgary five days ago in the first meeting between Sutter and his younger brother, Brent Sutter, the coach of the Flames. The result was a solid 4-1 victory by the Kings, the third straight game they scored four or more goals. Calgary, meanwhile, has scored just two goals in two games since trading for high-scoring forward Michael Cammalleri. All signs point to a Kings’ victory. Will they follow the right path?

3. Goalie guesswork: It probably came as a bit of a surprise that All Star goalie Jonathan Quick played in all three games on the Western Canada swing that concluded Tuesday night with a 3-2 shootout victory in Vancouver. Quick has started the last four games overall. With the Kings beginning a four-game home stand, it seems the right time to give backup Jonathan Bernier the nod. Bernier's two starts under Sutter came after Quick had started four in a row. Then again, if Sutter’s looking at the numbers, Quick has a stellar 1.84 goals-against average in eight career starts against the Flames. Bernier has faced Calgary just once in his career.

(Read full post)

Kings: Scoring spree continues in 4-1 win vs. Flames

January, 14, 2012
1/14/12
10:11
PM PT
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

Kings: Breathing a sigh of relief in Calgary

January, 14, 2012
1/14/12
6:53
AM PT
Kings (21-15-8, 50 points) vs. Calgary Flames (21-19-5, 47 points) at Scotiabank Saddledome, 7 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Kopitar OK – The Kings really dodged a bullet Thursday night. Anze Kopitar, the team’s leading scorer the last four seasons, was feeling fine the day after getting slammed into the boards as a result of a third-period hit by Dallas captain Brenden Morrow. Kopitar was drilled as he attempted a wrap-around move behind the net, apparently not catching a glimpse of Morrow railroading towards him. He spun like a helicopter face first into the boards, hard enough to sustain a bloody nose. Kopitar was confined to the “quiet room” for evaluation as the Kings went on to lose in a shootout, 5-4. It appears there’s nothing to keep Kopitar from playing against the Flames.

2. Defining moment – Successful teams can typically look back on a season and spot a turning point, whether it’s a come-from-behind victory, a hard-fought shutout or an adrenaline-filled line brawl. The Kings might reflect on Morrow’s hit as their defining moment. As Kopitar lay sprawled face down in the corner, teammate Mike Richards went after Morrow, challenging and receiving a fight. Sure, the Kings playmaker earned four extra penalty minutes, long enough for the Stars to score the tying goal on the power play with just under six minutes remaining in regulation, but every player for the Kings should feel inspired by Richards’ response, especially since he just returned three weeks ago from an eight-game absence due to a head injury.

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Ducks: Perry doubles up on Calgary in 4-2 win

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
9:48
PM PT
Ducks 4, Calgary Flames 2

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: Corey Perry continued his red-hot pace, scoring two more goals Wednesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary to lift the Ducks up another spot in the Western Conference standings.

THE STAT: Perry gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead during a first-period power play, deflecting Cam Fowler's slap shot into the net. Perry later scored into an empty net in the game’s final minute for his third two-goal game in the last four, extending his league-leading goal total to 46.

TURNING POINT: With just over five minutes remaining in the second period, the Flames appeared to tie the score when the puck bounced over the goal line as goalkeeper Ray Emery fell into the net during a scramble in the crease. The Calgary players immediately began to celebrate but the referee never signaled that a goal was scored. After a lengthy review, the call on the ice stood because replay officials in Toronto could not verify that the puck crossed the goal line. About three minutes later, Lubomir Visnovsky scored to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead.

HOT: Emery stopped 23 shots to improve to 6-0-0 since he was signed as a free agent in early February.

NOT: Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin had four of Anaheim’s 13 giveaways. He was also penalized for slashing Rene Bourque midway through the second period.

GOOD MOVE: After the Ducks fell behind, 1-0, Bobby Ryan knotted the score with a nifty move on a power play, circling from behind the net and stuffing the puck into the far side of the net.

BAD MOVE: Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman committed back-to-back third-period hooking penalties that gave the Flames some life. The first occurred when the Ducks were already a man down and gave Calgary a 5-on-3. Mark Giordano scored 13 seconds into the two-man advantage to cut the deficit to 3-2.

NOTABLE: Visnovsky’s goal was his 16thof the season, tying a 12-year-old club record for most goals by a defenseman. The Ducks moved into sixth place in the West and have a six-point lead over ninth-place Dallas with six games remaining.

UP NEXT: Saturday at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Ducks: Not just another must-win game

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
12:58
PM PT
Ducks (43-28-5, 91 points) vs. Calgary Flames (38-28-11, 87) at Scotiabank Saddledome, 6:30 p.m. PT.

Five storylines to track:

1. Bigger than big – OK, just so we’re clear. There are big games, like the last 30 or so, and there are exceptionally large games, like the one tonight in Calgary. With a regulation victory, the Ducks can climb one more rung in the ladder to sixth in the Western Conference standings with six games remaining. More importantly, they would get six points clear of ninth-place Dallas. Calgary, like the Stars, has 87 points but sits in 10th due to more games played.

2. Creating a buzz – Probably not surprising Teemu Selanne was trending on Twitter not long after posting his 22ndcareer hat trick Monday night in a 5-4 victory against the visiting Colorado Avalanche. Apparently, it’s not every day a 40-year-old scores three goals in an NHL game. The fact is, Selanne is helping the Ducks earn points like no other member of the team…well, maybe Corey Perry. If he continues this torrid pace, get ready to hear a lot more about the Finnish Flash.

3. Diamond in the rough – Another player whose stellar play has been buried beneath the Selanne headlines is goalkeeper Ray Emery. With the win against the Avalanche, he remained undefeated in five starts since joining Anaheim as a free agent in early February, basically as an insurance policy while starter Jonas Hiller deals with vertigo-like symptoms. Emery is turning into a great comeback story himself, battling back from hip surgery that kept him out of the NHL for more than a year and threatened to end his career.

4. Have you seen me? – It’s safe to say the Ducks probably thought they’d get more out of defenseman Francois Beauchemin when they traded for him back in early February. But he clearly isn’t the same player that helped the Ducks win the Stanley Cup title in 2007 before playing the last 1 seasons in Toronto. Beauchemin is minus-five in his last five games and has just two goals and two assists in the 21 games since joining Anaheim.

5. Flame that got away – The Flames haven’t played since rallying from a 4-1 third-period deficit Saturday against Edmonton to win in a shootout, 5-4. Curtis Glencross scored his 23rdgoal of the season in the comeback, further adding to his breakout season. Glencross signed his first professional contract with the Ducks and played two games with the club during the Stanley Cup championship season before he was traded to Columbus for two players who never made a dent in the NHL and a fourth-round draft pick.

Kings: Shootout win vs. Flames, Williams hurt

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
11:39
PM PT


LOS ANGELES—First, the bad news.

Justin Williams, the second-leading scorer for the Kings, left the game in obvious pain with about 9 minutes remaining in the third period Monday night against the Calgary Flames and the top-line right wing wasn’t around to see his teammates rally for a 2-1 shootout victory at Staples Center.

Williams was checked into the left-wing boards by Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr and skated slowly to the bench favoring his right arm or shoulder. He sat hunched over on the bench for about 60 seconds before heading to the locker room.

Afterward, coach Terry Murray said Williams suffered an upper-body injury and was “not OK.”

“All I heard is he’ll get to see a doctor tomorrow and have an evaluation and see where he’s at,” Murray.

The Kings, who moved up one spot to fifth in the Western Conference standings, can ill afford to lose Williams for any stretch of time. They’re already struggling to produce offensively, owning just two goals in regulation in their last three games.

After suffering through three consecutive injury-plagued years, Williams was one of eight Kings who had appeared in every game this season, producing 22 goals and 35 assists. He was having his most productive season since 2006-07 with the Hurricanes.

As for the good news, Jonathan Quick improved to 8-0 in shootouts this season, giving up a first-round goal to Alex Tanguay before Rene Bourque hit the post and Curtis Glencross shot wide. In between, Jarret Stoll scored to improve to 7-of-8 on shootouts this season, and Anze Kopitar slipped one through the pads of goalie Mikka Kiprusoff.

“It’s pretty easy when the team scores two out of three,” Quick said. “They’ve been scoring goals all year in the shootout like that and it makes it a lot easier on my part.”

It won't get any easier if the Kings have to continue very long without Williams, one of the few dynamic offensive players on the team. They'll have a couple days to adjust, as they don't play again until Thursday against San Jose at Staples Center.

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