CALGARY, AB -- The Los Angeles Kings didn’t disappoint fans on Kelly Hrudey night at the Staples Center.
Justin Williams had a goal and two assists while Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots as the Kings trumped the Calgary Flames 6-2 in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
The Flames won’t have to wait long to extract revenge on the Kings, playing their second of back-to-back games against the California club on Monday.
The Kings didn’t hesitate jumping on an early edge on the Flames.
Jeff Carter – with his 13th goal in as many games – opened the scoring at 4:18 on the power play. Carter took a cross-crease pass from Dustin Brown and lifted the puck over a sprawled Miikka Kiprusoff for his 17th of the year to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
The goal came minutes after Calgary thought they had got on the board. Dennis Wideman’s shot from the point beat Quick, but the goal was waved off with Lee Stempniak in the crease impeding the Los Angeles goaltender.
With a power play of their own, Calgary drew even. Wideman faked a shot at the point on a 5-on-3 and found Mike Cammalleri parked to the side of the net, who buried it into a virtually empty net at 7:24 to knot the game.
After the Kings retook the lead via a Jake Muzzin shot from the point, Trevor Lewis gave Los Angeles some brief breathing room. Streaking down the wing, Lewis fired a shot over the glove of Kiprusoff at 18:23 to make it 3-1.
Calgary cut the lead to one before the intermission on a nifty passing play.
With an odd-manned rush in the dying seconds of the frame, Matt Stajan upped the puck to Alex Tanguay who relayed it to Mark Giordano. Giordano returned the puck to Tanguay below the hashmarks, who put it behind a desperate Quick with just 17 seconds remaining in the frame.
Williams restored the two-goal edge midway through the middle period, redirecting a Slava Voynov point shot behind Kiprusoff to put Los Angeles up 4-2 at 9:44.
The Kings piled on two more over the final 20 minutes of play.
A streaking Anze Kopitar ripped his eighth of the season short side past the blocker of Kiprusoff 3:53 into the third to extend LA’s lead to three.
That mark moved to four after Colin Fraser scored just his second of the campaign. After Dustin Penner failed to find the back of the net on a breakaway, Jordan Nolan rounded up the rebound and fed Fraser in the slot, who pounded the puck behind Kiprusoff to make it a 6-2 final at 8:22.
The sixth goal would chase Kiprusoff. Joey MacDonald stopped all both shots he faced in relief.
GOAL OF THE GAME
With 17 seconds left in the opening period, a nifty tic-tac-tic-tac-toe passing play started by Stajan and complimented by Giordano was finished by Tanguay to cut the Kings’ lead to one heading into the first intermission.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Breaking in on a 2-on-1 with Fraser, Kyle Clifford opted to keep the puck and tried jamming it past the pad of Kirpusoff, who kept the Kings forward at bay with just over five minutes remaining in the second period.
HIT OF THE GAME
With 6:15 remaining in the middle frame, Blake Comeau initiated contact with the six-foot-three, 225-pound Kopitar, running him hard into the end boards.
Williams’ goal midway through the second period restored a two-goal lead for the Kings, an edge Calgary couldn’t chip away at in the final 30 minutes of the game.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“We haven’t been able to stop the bleeding once it starts.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Though he played just over six minutes against the Kings, Steve Begin held a share of the hits lead on the night with Giordano at five. Giordano, playing 21:30, was also even on the night.
Defencemen Anton Babchuk and Cory Sarich and forward Curtis Glencross were scratched. Paul Byron remains out of the lineup due to injury.
The Flames wrap up their California cruise with the second of back-to-backs against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (8 p.m. MT, SNET-W).