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Tkachuk scores pair as Flames beat Kings in overtime

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

Matthew Tkachuk sure is good at giving gifts.

Tkachuk had a pair of goals and Sean Monahan scored the overtime winner as the Flames beat the Kings 4-3 in Los Angeles Wednesday night, sweeping their two-game Southern California trip after beating the Ducks 2-0 Monday night.

The game was played on Tkachuk's mom, Chantal's, birthday, giving him extra reason to celebrate, as both his parents - including former NHLer dad Keith - watched the game from home.

"Tried to get her that third one with the two-on-one at the end," Tkachuk said after.

He also gave Flames fans plenty to be happy about.

Tkachuk scored the game's first goal and tied it up later in the third period before Monahan notched the eighth OT winner of his young career.

Michael Frolik also scored for the Flames.

Dustin Brown had a pair and Anze Kopitar added a single for the Kings.

Mike Smith faced over 40 shots for the second game in a row and third time this season, stopping 42 of 45.

"We've giving up way too much," coach Glen Gulutzan said on the number of shots his team is allowing. "Once again I thought it was our goalie that bailed us out of here.

"We have some work to do. It's going to be the same process we're going to have to go through (that we did last year). I think we're more confident at this time (than) last year, more comfortable, our goalie's winning us games, but our cleanup is going to go on the same timeline as last year. We've got to clean this up quick."

The game marked Jaromir Jagr's Flames debut. He played 13:38 and, even with no shots on net, had a couple of scoring chances and meshed well with his linemates, Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg.

Video: Monahan, Tkachuk power Flames past Kings in OT, 4-3

It was the Flames who got things started, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. 

Tkachuk slammed the puck home on the powerplay while Adrian Kempe sat in the box for interference. Tkachuk received a pass from Mikael Backlund behind the net, brought it out in front, and whacked away at it until it slipped past Jonathan Quick and in.

Frolik added to the lead later in the first, courtesy of an amazing Johnny Gaudreau assist. Gaudreau brought the puck up the ice, dangling through Kings players before dishing off to Frolik alone in the slot - right through Drew Doughty's legs - setting Frolik up for the easy tap-in.

The Kings, however, started coming back in the second period. Anze Kopitar ended Mike Smith's shutout streak at 139:50 with a shot that pinged off the far post and in.

Smith had a number of big saves prior to the goal, including a goal-line save, and stoned Kopitar earlier in the game when he came barrelling in on him.

"I think since the first game we've played a lot better hockey," Smith said. "We've done a lot of good things in games, so we continue to build on that, and learn from the mistakes that we're making in games, and we'll keep improving and pushing along."

The Kings tied the game early in the third period, courtesy of Brown tipping a Doughty shot. Shortly after, Brown scored again off of another tip-in, this time on Derek Forbort's shot.

With about nine minutes to go in the third Tkachuk tied the game up with his second of the night, beating Quick with a quick shot.

Video: Tkachuk talks about a big night

"I liked our perseverance when we were down," Tkachuk said. "We never gave up, and Smitty made some huge saves. I remember that backhand when Brown came across, he was going for his third, and that's… I went out for the faceoff, told Smitty, 'You just changed the momentum of the game.'"

Monahan scored the game-winner just over a minute into overtime. He brought the puck up the ice and dished it over to Gaudreau, who passed it up to T.J. Brodie beside the net. Brodie waited until Monahan got in the slot, then slipped the puck in for Monahan to bang home the winner.

ONE-TIMERS: Gaudreau has 17 points in 15 games against the Kings … This was the second multi-goal game of Tkachuk's career. His first came on Nov. 3, 2016 against the San Jose Sharks … Smith is two wins away from 200 … Mark Giordano is one goal away from 100. Backlund is four away … Jagr is 56 games away from breaking Gordie Howe's all-time games played record.

NEXT UP: The Flames return home to host the Ottawa Senators on Friday (7 p.m. MTN). They then take off to play the Canucks in Vancouver on Saturday (8 p.m. MTN). Following that they'll have four days off between games, before hosting the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 19 (7 p.m. MT).

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