Follow me on Twitter: @BenShelley_20
Follow HockeyBuzz Kings on Twitter: @HB_LAKings
The Los Angeles Kings’ four-game winning streak came to an end last night, as they fell 6-5 against the Calgary Flames in the first game of their four-game road trip.
Calgary opened the scoring early on, with Rasmus Andersson finding Jonathan Huberdeau in front, who beat Jonathan Quick to open the scoring. The Kings responded right away though, with Arthur Kaliyev scoring off a one-timer on a power play to even the game. Kaliyev wasn’t done there, and just over a minute later, he got to a rebound on a rush and just spun and threw it on net, beating Jacob Markstrom and putting Los Angeles ahead.
After a good start for the Kings though, things took a turn after that. Midway through the frame, Andrew Mangiapane got to a puck in front to score, tying the game. Then only 42 seconds later, Alex Edler had a costly turnover and Brett Ritchie converted off a give-and-go to put Calgary back ahead. Calgary then extended the lead later, as Sean Durzi got caught up ice on a bad pinch and Tyler Toffoli capitalized on the ensuing 2-on-1. After giving up only nine shots in the frame, the Kings found themselves down 4-2.
Elias Lindholm made it a 5-2 game under two minutes into the second frame, getting to the net to bury a loose puck on a power play. Los Angeles was then outplayed in the period, being outshot 17-4, and while Kevin Fiala converted on a bounce off the end boards with about five minutes left in the period, Calgary restored the three-goal lead soon after, as Durzi coughed up the puck along the wall and Adam Ruzicka made it a 6-3 game.
Los Angeles did put together a solid third period, outshooting Calgary 12-4. Anze Kopitar made things interesting with a power play goal midway through the frame and then with under two minutes to go, Adrian Kempe cut the lead to one off a one-timer with the goalie pulled. Despite nearly tying it in the final minute though, the Kings came up short, falling 6-5.
After quite a few games where the Kings deserved praise for their defensive efforts, this game was a lot more like what we were seeing a couple weeks ago. There were far too many terrible defensive lapses, giving up avoidable high-end chances that ended up in the back of the net.
As good as Sean Durzi is offensively, he continues to be prone to some pretty poor mistakes at times. He’s certainly not the only one, but as someone who’s young enough to factor into future plans, it’s an area he needs to develop to make that happen.
Jonathan Quick may have given up six goals, but the loss was certainly much more about the defensive lapses.
A positive is that Arthur Kaliyev continues to produce for the Kings, now leading the team in power play points. At just 21 years old, he has six goals and 13 points in 17 games and is doing so while averaging under nine minutes per game at even strength.
It’s a tough way to begin a road trip, but the Kings did put together a better third period in an effort to try to battle back. They’ll be back in action tomorrow, when they face the Edmonton Oilers.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
Kings drop back down to .500 following 5-2 loss to Stars
Kings come up short against Blackhawks, lose in overtime
Kings kick off four-game homestand with win over Panthers
Kings shut out Wild with strong defensive effort
Kings beat Blackhawks in overtime for third straight win
Kings sweep four-game homestand with win over Red Wings