The Los Angeles Kings held onto the 4th spot in the Western Conference with a 3-1 home win against the Calgary Flames at home on Monday night. Calgary strangely enough played the Kings for the second time in 3nights in LA. Calgary lost 6-2 on Saturday at STAPLES, but the 2013 Kings did something uncharacteristic on Monday night–they got an early lead.
Dustin Brown scored an early powerplay goal with assists from two of the kids from the blue line, Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin. The Kings built on that lead with what turned out to the game winner from Jarrett Stoll before it was half way through the period. The second period went by scoreless, but the only puck that got by Jonathan Quick of the 35 he faced came along late in the third. The Kings managed to hold on, and move up to 4th in the Conference when Brown iced the game with an empty net goal.
The Kings moved ahead of Detroit and Vancouver, who have lost their last 2 and four games respectively. The Kings are in 4th, but have two more points than 3rd place and Northwest Division leading Minnesota. Fourth is great for the Kings, but it’s still an ultra tight field. The Kings are only 3 points out of being out of the playoff picture.
In some sense the Kings were lucky to get away with the win. The Kings were were burned in the faceoff circle only winning .41% of the draws, and no Kings center man was better than 50%. The Kings also gave up 4 powerplays to the visiting Flames. The Kings were able to convert on their sole powerplay opportunity in the 1st, but giving up 4 penalties is not a well documented way to win games.
The most stunning result of the game was that Jeff Carter didn’t have a goal. That none of his 3 shots found the back of the net is strange for the man with the second most goals in the league. Carter’s points streak (really it’s his goal’s streak cause he only has 2 assists on the season) ended at 4.
The Kings’s have a quick turnaround playing Tuesday night at Jobing.com arena in Glendale, Arizona at 7pm. The Coyotes are currently the 9 seed in the West and are still very bitter about losing in the playoffs a season ago.