Flames Down Kings on Night of Firsts



Los Angeles3

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Calgary Flames rookies David Moss, Richie Regehr and Dustin Boyd were pressed into service because of injuries, and they didn’t hold back against the Los Angeles Kings.

Moss and Regehr scored their first NHL goals, leading Calgary to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night. Boyd got his first career point on the second-period goal by Moss, who made his NHL debut after four seasons with the University of Minnesota and almost 1 1/2 seasons with Omaha of the AHL.

“We got a lot of juice out of our young players,” Flames coach Jim Playfair said. “There’s always some apprehension when you get that many young players out there all at the same time, but I think it really worked to our advantage.”

Jarome Iginla assisted on goals by Tony Amonte and Daymond Langkow, and Kristian Huselius scored on a breakaway in the third period for Calgary.

Jamie McLennan made 27 saves for his first victory in three starts this season. He allowed four goals in each of his other two starts – both on the road, against Columbus (Nov. 3) and Anaheim (Nov. 26).

“As a group, we did an unbelievable job banding together,” McLennan said. “We knew who was out of the lineup and the guys knew I was making my third start of the season. It was a total team effort.”

Rookie Anze Kopitar had two goals and an assist for Los Angeles, and Dustin Brown scored on a power play.

Calgary left wing Alex Tanguay missed his first game of the season because of a charley horse and was replaced by Amonte on the Flames’ top line alongside Iginla and Langkow.

“I’ve played with those guys before, so this is a good opportunity for me – playing on an offensive line, creating some offense and trying to get some points,” Amonte said. “It’s a little bit different role than the one I’ve played for this club most of this season.”

Amonte opened the scoring at 1:24 of the first period with one of the ugliest of his 413 career goals. The 16-year veteran got the puck from Iginla in the neutral zone and caught Dan Cloutier napping with a seemingly harmless slap shot from just behind the blue line that deflected off the goalie’s glove. The goal came while Scott Thornton was off for holding Andrew Ference.

“I was just trying to get the puck on the net,” Amonte said. “We were just trying to get more pucks on the net from everywhere. We’ve talked about it as a team. Those kind of goals don’t go in very often, but I’ll take it.”

Cloutier, the target of boos at Staples Center all season because of his erratic play, was burned again less than three minutes later on another long shot by Regehr through a screen as teammate Chuck Kobasew got tied up with Kings defenseman Aaron Miller in front of the crease.

“It’s unbelievable for some of these young guys to come up and contribute like this,” McLennan said. “It’s a tribute to the organization that we’ve got really good depth. It’s nice for your guys to come up here and get a taste of it and have success early.”

Cloutier came in with a 3.74 goals-against average after missing the previous two games because of a shoulder injury he sustained in pregame warmups last Thursday at San Jose. The crowd of 17,247 showered him with sarcastic cheers the rest of the period every time he made a routine save.

“It was not a good way to start the game,” Cloutier said. “We had a few crucial mistakes and the puck was at the back of the net. We did a good job battling back, but we made some key mistakes that cost us in the second period.”

Kopitar twice cut Calgary’s lead to one goal. His first score came just 36 seconds into the second period when his attempted centering pass for Brown caromed into the net off McLennan’s blocker. Kopitar got his 10th of the season at 14:34 of the period after Langkow’s 13th goal gave the Flames a 3-1 advantage.

“Kopitar’s got a lot of poise with the puck and he really is patient,” Amonte said. “He’s got size and he was pretty dominant out there tonight. He’s definitely going to be a guy we’re going to have to key on when they come up to our place.”

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

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