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Flames blow three-goal lead, top Kings in shootout

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

In what was one of the Kings’ more impressive comeback displays of the season, it came in a game that held absolutely no bearing on their fate.

It can be said, though, that when nothing’s on the line, the efforts under those circumstances are the most genuine. For the Kings, it was about overcoming a three-goal deficit after a lethargic start, where they eventually fell short in the shootout, falling 4-3 to Calgary Wednesday night.

It wasn’t without a fight, though.

The Kings’ loss Wednesday night was their first loss at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome since February 5, 2011, snapping their six-game win streak at the Flames’ home complex.

An uncharacteristically lackluster start from the Kings Wednesday night saw them in a deep three-goal deficit late in the second period. After goals from TJ Galiardi and Sean Monahan, Matt Stajan gave Calgary a 3-0 lead with 4:32 left to play in the second period.

Stajan’s marker provided the smelling salts for the Kings Wednesday night, who abruptly awoke from a drowsy start to immediately chip away at the Flames’ lead.

Just :41 seconds after Stajan’s goal, Jarret Stoll tipped home the first goal of the night for the Kings, his eighth of the season, as he sat in front of Calgary’s crease to deflect home a Slava Voynov slap shot from atop the point to cut the Flames’ lead to 3-1.

Anze Kopitar followed suit :24 seconds later, receiving a pass from Marian Gaborik from deep inside Calgary’s zone, then ensued to dance behind, around, and in front of the Flames’ net until he pocketed home a back-hand shot past Karri Ramo for his 26th goal of the season to cut Calgary’s lead to 3-2 with 3:27 to play in the second period.

It was Kopitar’s 199th career NHL goal.

Marian Gaborik recorded the secondary assist on Kopitar’s goal, notching his 700th career NHL point.

Dwight King, in his first game back after sitting out four games with an undisclosed lower body injury, buried the tying goal with under eight minutes remaining in regulation time.

King established presence in front of Calgary’s Karri Ramo as Jake Muzzin lined up a shot from the blue line, and redirected Muzzin’s shot up and over the shoulder of Ramo to knot the score at three apiece with 7:42 left on the game clock.

It was King’s 15th goal of the season, and the Kings’ power forward now has five points (3G, 2A) in his previous five games.

After an overtime period that saw the Kings outshoot the Flames 5-0, the game was extended to a shootout, the Kings’ 13th shootout of the season.

Marian Gaborik scored to give the Kings a lead in the second round, but consecutive tallies from Jiri Hudler (3rd Rd) and Sean Monahan (4th Rd) gave Calgary the 4-3 win.

The Kings are now 8-5 in shootouts this season.

Battering the Flames in the shot department tonight, firing 44 pucks on Calgary’s net, opposed to the 18 they directed on Jonathan Quick, the Kings eclipsed the 40-shot mark for the 14th time this season. The Kings are now 7-3-4 this season when recording 40 or more shots.

The Kings finished their regular season series against the Calgary Flames with a 2-2-1 mark.

The Kings will remain in Alberta, but head for Edmonton for their final road regular season game, where they’ll face the Oilers Thursday night at Rexall Place, scheduled for a 6:30 PM PST puck drop.

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