Daymond Langkow scored the go-ahead goal with 3:37 remaining and Kiprusoff stopped 34 shots to give the Flames a 3-2 win in Los Angeles, and their 6th victory in a row.
After sitting through shamefuly off-key renditions of the US and Canadian National Anthems (someone hopefully got fired for allowing Kelly Ridgeway to she sing the anthems in LA!) it’s understandable that Jarome Iginla would hit the post on a wide open chance just half a minute into the game. I’m sure the game would have been very different if he had scored the tip-in goal… but the miss allowed this young Kings team to stay in the game. Surely it wasn’t the TSN turning point of the game, but Kings coach Terry Murray must have sighed a big relief when Iggy missed.
Though the Flames scored first with a fluke shot that ricocheted of 3 different players before going in the LA net, they never really took control of the game. Playing a much younger Kings team (who currently sit in last place in the Western Conference), Calgary should have dominated on the ice and on the scoreboard. But instead they showed infrequent moments of control, and relied on their own young players to swing the momentum back their way.
The Kings did all they could to keep themselves in the game, but watching the game winning goal showed that the Flames really are capable of playing at a higher level if they take advantage of their opponents weaknesses. Rene Bourque fed the puck to Todd Bertuzzi in the corner. He used his body to protect the puck from Anze Kopitar, looked over his shoulder, then fed a perfect no-look pass to Langkow who was racing to the net. Langkow made no mistakes and shot the puck over Jason LaBarbera’s pad to give the Flames the win.
Kings rookie Drew Doughty had a great game, but it was his error that allowed Langkow to get open in front of the net for the winning goal. If the Flames are going to keep their win streak alive – or to pile up more wins as the season continues, they will have to take advantage of their experience when playing teams like LA.
The Flames now have less than 24 hours rest until they face off against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday afternoon.