LOS ANGELES (AP) - In a game where the penalty box came into play almost as much as the puck, Chris Simon's timely power-play goal and Calgary's penalty-killing unit made all the difference.
Simon scored his second goal of the game with 30 seconds left in the third period and the Flames overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Sunday night.
``To be down 2-0 and find a way to win that game in regulation feels good,'' Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. ``Our power play was better. We were doing some good things and we didn't get frustrated.''
The Flames, who entered a league-worst 5-for-59 on the power play, were 2-for-10 against a Kings squad that came in with the NHL's second-worst penalty-killing percentage. Los Angeles also was 1-for-10 with the man advantage.
``With the way the game went, we knew anything was possible,'' Simon said. ``Our penalty kill did an amazing job and it was the difference in the game.''
The Flames got the man advantage when rookie Tom Kostopolous was sent off for boarding, after he slammed Calgary defenseman Jordan Leopold into the glass behind the Calgary net with 1:39 to play. Moments later, Simon came out from behind the Kings' net with the puck, spun around and put a 25-foot wrist shot over rookie Mathieu Garon's glove for the game-winner. It was Simon's 12th career two-goal game.
``It surprised me that we would take as many penalties as we did,'' Kings coach Andy Murray said. ``That was pretty uncharacteristic of our team. I think that took the momentum away from us.
``When you take this many penalties, it takes away from the time you spend on offense. And when you're killing so many penalties, you're not in an attack mode, but a defensive mode. Unfortunately, that's the way we were in the third period.''
Luc Robitaille and Derek Armstrong scored first-period goals for the Kings.
With the game tied at 2 on Dion Phaneuf's goal, Calgary's Marcus Nilson was tripped on a clean breakaway by a diving Tim Gleason - resulting in a penalty shot by Nilson that Garon stopped with his left leg with 12:26 left in regulation. Garon finished with 28 saves.
``I think this might have been the best game Mathieu Garon has played for us. It's just too bad he didn't get the result he wanted,'' Murray said. ``He stops a penalty shot in the third period, and obviously played well for us when he killed a 5-on-3 situation in the second period.''
Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 18 shots, including a breakaway by Pavol Demitra with 16:40 left in the third period. Demitra got another bad break about 3 1/2 minutes later during a Kings power play, when his bid for the go-ahead goal was waved off by referee Mick McGeough 13:08 left in the third period because Armstrong was in the crease.
Down 2-0, Simon breathed some life back into the Flames at 8:41 of the second period with his first goal of the season. He beat Garon from in close after Andrew Ference got possession of a rebound and backhanded the puck into the slot.
Phaneuf was credited with his second goal of the season at 13:36 of the period, when his flip shot toward the net deflected in off Gleason's skate. The goal, originally credited to Iginla, came while Eric Belanger was off for holding Craig MacDonald.
``They kept coming at us and we couldn't contain them,'' Kings forward Jeremy Roenick said. ``We took a lot of penalties. It's frustrating. This is a bad two points to lose. This was a game where you have to find ways to win.''
Robitaille opened the scoring at 16:13 of the first period when he deflected Joe Corvo's 45-foot slap shot past Kiprusoff for his 656th career goal and 545th with the Kings, six short of Marcel Dionne's franchise record.
Notes: Kiprusoff took exception to an extra whack Armstrong took at his glove late in the second period after he stopped a shot by Lubomir Visnovsky. The Flames' goalie slashed Armstrong on the leg while still on his knees, and McGeough assessed penalties to both players. ... Iginla, who twice has led the league in goal-scoring, has just two goals on 28 shots during 216 minutes and 51 seconds of ice time. ... The Flames have scored only three first-period goals in their first 10 games.
|PPG - Luc Robitaille (3) ASST: Joe Corvo (1), Alex Frolov (3)|
1 - 0 LAK
|Derek Armstrong (2) ASST: Tim Gleason (6), George Parros (3)|
2 - 0 LAK
|Chris Simon (1) ASST: Andrew Ference (4), Chuck Kobasew (1)|
2 - 1 LAK
|PPG - Dion Phaneuf (2) ASST: Chris Simon (2), Jarome Iginla (5)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Chris Simon (2) ASST: Stephane Yelle (3), Roman Hamrlik (7)|
3 - 2 CGY
|Sean Avery Roughing against Steve Reinprecht|
|Shean Donovan Tripping against Joe Corvo|
|Craig Conroy Holding the stick against Rhett Warrener|
|Joe Corvo Hooking against Byron Ritchie|
|Chuck Kobasew Hooking against Mattias Norstrom|
|Eric Belanger Slashing against Bryan Marchment|
|Sean Avery Interference|
|Sean Avery Tripping|
|Craig Conroy Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Jarome Iginla Hi-sticking|
|Eric Belanger Holding against Craig MacDonald|
|Andrew Ference Hooking against Mike Cammalleri|
|Bryan Marchment Hooking against Sean Avery|
|Miikka Kiprusoff Slashing against Derek Armstrong|
|Derek Armstrong Slashing against Miikka Kiprusoff|
|Rhett Warrener Holding against Mike Cammalleri|
|Dustin Brown Boarding against Andrew Ference|
|Daymond Langkow Roughing against Tim Gleason|
|Daymond Langkow Roughing against Tim Gleason|
|Roman Hamrlik Holding against Tom Kostopoulos|
|Bryan Marchment Elbowing against Jeremy Roenick|
|Tom Kostopoulos Boarding against Jordan Leopold|