The Flames recorded their first win of the campaign, beating the visiting Vancouver Canucks 3-0 at the Scotiabank Home-Opener on Saturday night. David Rittich got the shutout, stopping all 34 shots he faced. Gaudreau - who tallied 99 points last season - continued to have a hot hand, setting up linemates Monahan and EliasLindholm before potting a late empty-netter.
"It's great. You always want to get off to a good start," said Gaudreau. "Not only individually, but as a team. We've found the net a couple times. Powerplay's been clicking. ... It was a good game tonight. … I think I could have found the net a couple more times. Same with Mony, same with Lindy. We had a ton of chances."
Head coach Bill Peters is expecting his team to play more disciplined against the Kings, saying after the win against Vancouver: "We took too many penalties. We took 10 minutes in penalties in Game 1, 10 again tonight. It's too much. There are three in a row and they shift the momentum of the game. We've got to get that dialled in and we will."
The Kings opened the season with a high-scoring affair in Edmonton Saturday night, falling 6-5 to the Oilers. Former Flame James Neal scored twice in the tilt - including the game-winner in the third period, where the Oilers outscored the Kings 3-2 to seal the victory. Connor McDavid finished with a goal and four assists. Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis, Drew Doughty and Michael Amadio scored for the visitors. Jonathan Quick made 25 saves in the loss.
"You can't give up six goals and expect to win the game, that's not going to happen very often," said Kopitar. "Obviously, scoring five goals, that's encouraging, but at the same time, we have to clean up on the defensive side of things and make sure that six was just a case of first game of the season."
Doughty, whose tally came on a third-period powerplay, extended his consecutive games played streak to 411, a Kings record.
The Kings finished dead last in the Western Conference last season with a 31-42-9 record. They sported a minus-61 goal differential, scoring just 202 times. Only the Anaheim Ducks - with 199 - were worse.
3. US vs THEM
This is the first of four matchups this season between the Flames and Kings. These two teams played each other four times a season ago with the Flames winning all but one matchup in the season series while outscoring the Kings 12-6 … This another divisional matchup. The Flames finished last season with a record of 16-11-2 against Pacific opponents.
4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
THIS: Following the tilt with the Kings, the Flames head out for a three-game road swing through Dallas, Vegas and San Jose. It's part of a busy month where they play 15 games (six home, nine away) ... THAT: Monahan and Gaudreau have now combined on 133 goals since the start of the 2016-17 season ... THE OTHER: The first of Gaudreau's three hat-tricks in his NHL career came against the Kings on December 22, 2014.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Flames: G David Rittich
Big Save Dave got the goose egg against the Canucks coming off the team's season-opening loss to the Avs in Denver, where he allowed four tallies. The affable and outgoing 'tender said he's feeling confident in his game right now.
Kings: C Anze Kopitar
The captain will be playing in his 1,005th game (313G, 891A) and remains one of the Kings' biggest threats on offence.