In a game that started exactly like every other Kings game this season, it had a surprising yet quite satisfying result. A solid first five minutes was almost marred by Derek Forbert‘s tripping penalty; but a Tyler Toffoli breakaway, fancy stick work from Anze Kopitar, and an almost shorthanded goal from Moore, the penalty kill was just as impressive. In fact everything looked good for them, except the scoreboard. Their forecheck was on point, they had a pretty good handle on the neutral zone, and Cal Peterson wasn’t looking too dazed by anything down his end. Halfway through the first shots were 9-4 in favor of the Kings; hits however were 8-2 Flames, though given their mentality that wasn’t surprising either. Tempers flared, but only as much as you’d expect from a team with Matthew Tkachuk. Actually less really, considering. Play was good, if not a little boring, seeing as the Kings just can’t seem to buy a goal lately.

The second deviated from the typical plan slightly, but only in the sense that the Kings actually scored. Otherwise par for the course. 61 seconds in and I had been concerned for about 60 of those seconds. Peterson was looking like Quick and not in a good way. By the time 10 minutes had passed the Kings barely had 2 shots on goal and even those I questioned, because I wasn’t sure I ever saw the puck down that end. Peterson was making some good saves – particularly on Johnny Gaudreau 1-on-1 but as usual the Kings goal was called upon too much. It was the somewhat inevitable MacDermid-Lucic fight that really got the second going. They dropped the gloves and punched off each other’s helmets, revealing the awful frosted tips Lucic is now sporting; but also it was way too short and ended when MacDermid slid rather than them pummeling each other to the ground. Lucic did end up sporting what looked like a broken nose though, so there’s that. It worked like a charm – Kings finally fired up and actually getting into the period. Both Dustin Brown and Alex Iafallo had chances at practically empty nets they couldn’t convert, so it stung when Backlund did. (Most Quick like move of the night, poor Peterson. Way too far out of his net.) Toffoli wasted little time in tying it up, rebounding a Kopitar shot 44 seconds later. And then several curses were broken when Austin Wagner netted his first in over TWO MONTHS on the breakaway 47 seconds after that. The Kings were actually up in the second period by goals from Toffoli and Wagner (things I never thought I’d write.) (Also that’s why we have MacDermid on the team. Literally turned the game around.) And the period wasn’t even over. As Martinez and his beautiful stick handling stopped Tkachuk from shooting, he tripped Martinez earning himself a penalty. Then another for roughing as he took extreme offense to this and started in on Martinez, creating quite the ruckus after the whistle. He and Martinez both got an extra minor for roughing, still putting the Kings on the power play.

If the second wasn’t enough action for you, wait for MacDermid’s third period goal. You won’t have to wait long – it came 1:42 into the period and was a slick snapshot from an even slicker Brown pass. The best part of the goal was Blake Lizotte having to jump a couple of feet in the air to get out of the puck’s way. 1:43 later, however, the Kings were back in the same place they were at the start of the period, when defense completely shut down and Peterson did that overreaching thing again. Prompting the ‘play sixty freaking minutes’ sigh. Drew Doughty’s penalty 7:30 in didn’t help, especially since he was a big part of the defensive breakdown on said last goal. Ooh, it was about to get worse. Iafallo was called for tripping in the neutral zone with 1:02 remaining in the Doughty penalty, and Roy, Kopitar and Martinez were left out that entire minute. They did their jobs though, as both penalties were killed successfully. Things remained tense, however, as both Kopitar and Carter had the game on their stick and didn’t convert, keeping it a 1 goal game for longer than was comfortable. Finally Carter did convert with a slapshot after some nicely confusing passing, with 4:48 remaining, and you’d think that would be it, right? Nope. With 4:06 remaining the Flames took a big chance and pulled their goalie, and wouldn’t you know it? They pulled it off, leaving 3:05 left and arrrrggggg it was a one goal game again. They Kings then couldn’t stick an empty net to save their lives, making it that much more stressful for the final three minutes. With 2:11 remaining goalie was gone again, the Kings leaving only three seconds in the game to get that empty net goal. It was more stressful than necessary, but doesn’t it feel good to beat the Flames?
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