2 - 1
CALGARY -- After losing three straight, the Calgary Flames rebounded with a 2-1 victory over the top team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings.
"It's a huge win for us, especially with the last games we've had," Nigel Dawes said. "We knew this one was important and the next one's at home so it's a good way to start the homestand."
Drew Doughty took a interference call with just under 2:00 to go in the stanza and the late call cost his club. With two seconds left on the clock, the Flames won a draw and Dion Phaneuf wired a one-timer from the blueline that beat Jonathan Quick with a single tick left in the period. It was Phaneuf's seventh of the season and his first goal since Nov. 5.
"Olli did a great job winning the draw and Iggy made a great pass, put it right where I could get at it," Phaneuf said after the game. "Luckily it got by their top guy."
Giordano, who had one of his best games of the season, provided the hit of the game in the second period when he leveled Kings captain Dustin Brown. The forward was heading to the Kings bench for a line change when Giordano came flying in. Brown went to the ice hard and Giordano was able to draw a penalty when Raitis Ivanans came in with a retaliation hit.
That was just one of Giordano's four hits in the games, three of which were directed at Brown.
"He's a top guy so I was just trying to be physical on their top guys," he shrugged. "They're a first place team, they're a skilled team so we just tried to limit their space and take the body whenever we had the chance."
The Flames went ahead by two after a great forechecking cycle by Daymond Langkow, Rene Bourque and Dawes. Bourque worked hard along the boards to keep the puck alive before passing to Langkow, who had moved down low. Dawes went towards the net, Langkow sent a quick pass to the winger and he one-timed it over Quick.
The Kings were able to get themselves back in the game in the third stanza. Cory Elkins scored his NHL goal at 11:06 after a nice passing play from Oscar Moller.
The final two minutes saw a frantic push from the Kings but Kiprusoff held his ground and stopped every shot Los Angeles fired at him.
"You saw from the start we were ready," Kiprusoff said. "It was a strong game."
The Flames will be back in action on Saturday afternoon against the Nashville Predators. The puck drops at 2:00 p.m. MST on Rogers Sportsnet & The FAN 960.
|WHY CALGARY WON |
|The Flames got back to the detail-oriented style of play that has made them successful this season and Kiprusoff turned in another solid performance. All six defensemen put in a gritty, physical effort and it kept the Kings offensive snipers quiet all evening. The Flames also kept the shots on net down until the final few minutes of the game. In previous games, they've been outshot as badly as 19-3 in a period but they remedied that tonight by getting more shots on the goaltender. || |
|GAME NOTES |
|Adam Pardy drew back into the lineup after missing two games with a sore wrist so Staffan Kronwall was the odd man out on the blueline. Brian McGrattan was also a healthy scratch. Cory Sarich continues to be sidelined with an undisclosed injury. || |
|THE NUMBERS GAME |
|Phaneuf's opening tally was his first in 19 games ... Iginla is now a mere 4 assists away from passing Theoren Fleury for 2nd place on the Flames all-time assists leaders list ... 35 shots on net for the Kings ... 4 hits for Giordano, leading all players in that category ... 7 shots on net for Justin Williams ... 24:26 of ice time for Jay Bouwmeester ... the Flames are 17-4-4 when getting on the scoresheet first. || |
|THE BIG SAVE |
|Early in the first period, while the Kings were on their first power play, Miikka Kiprusoff was forced to make two exceptional stops in one sequence. First, Teddy Purcell sent a rocket from the blueline through a crowd. Kiprusoff was able to get his body over to stop it but the rebound went right to Michal Handzus. Kiprusoff had to extend the left pad to make the clutch save and keep the Kings off the scoreboard. || |
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |