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Kings find a way, earn huge points in 5-4 OT win over Calgary

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

Upon tying the game with 35 seconds left in regulation, Jeff Carter slithered home the game-winning goal less than a minute into overtime to propel the Kings to a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Last season, the Kings’ playoff hopes were dashed in Calgary; this year, the team strengthened their push to win its division for the first time since 1991, and for just the second time in franchise history.

The Kings snapped a five-game road losing streak and pocketed a welcoming pair of points that could very well provide a boost for a team that has been struggling of late, having lost six of their previous eight.

“It’s great,” Vincent Lecavalier said of the two points earned. “We’ve been struggling to [get points] the last few games, and it’s nice to get them, especially to come back like that at the end. It’s good to get the two points and go home, practice tomorrow, and be ready for our next game.”

The Kings fell behind four minutes into the game when Mikael Backlund’s shot caromed off of Anze Kopitar’s skates and into an open net, giving the Flames an early 1-0 lead.

At the midway mark of the first, Milan Lucic tied the game for the Kings when he trailed Anze Kopitar’s entry into Calgary’s zone and wristed a loose puck through the five-hole of Joni Ortio.

On the second period’s opening shift, Milan Lucic buried his second goal of the night to give the Kings a 2-1 lead as he was stationed in front of Calgary’s net, slamming home a rebound from a Drew Doughty shot.

Hunter Shinkaruk tied the game 2-2 for Calgary late in the second.

The Flames opened the third on a power play and struck immediately, Mark Giordano giving Calgary a 3-2 lead 33 seconds into the final frame.

On the ensuing shift, Andy Andreoff scored his third goal in six games to bring the Kings even. Following up on a Jeff Carter shot, Andreoff disrupted a Calgary defenseman, swatting at the puck while it was handled, his momentum forcing the puck toward the Flames’ net and past Joni Ortio.

Deryk Engelland gave the Flames a 4-3 lead with four minutes left to play.

With Jhonas Enroth pulled for an extra attacker, the Kings were able to connect fopr some late-game magic to tie the score 4-4 with 35 seconds left on the clock.

Jamie McBain, after having his shot from the point blocked, made a game-saving recovery, skated the puck low below the right circle and fired a shot that Ortio mishandled. Kris Versteeg was in position to shovel the puck home to extend the game to overtime.

For the Kings, it was their 19th overtime game of the season.

During the extra period’s opening shift, Jeff Carter caused a turnover in the Kings’ zone and broke away all alone on Ortio, beating Calgary’s netminder through the five-hole to secure a 5-4 Kings victory.

The Kings improved their overtime record to 12-3, and are 14-5 including shootouts.

The Kings finished their season series against the Flames with a perfect 4-0-0 mark.

Anze Kopitar (2A) and Milan Lucic (2G) led all Kings players in points scored, Anze Kopitar in shots taken (4), Luke Schenn in hits delivered (8), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (31:52). Jhonas Enroth made 19 saves in the overtime win.

The Kings now return home to finish the season with a two-game home stand which begins Thursday night when they host the Anaheim Ducks at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.

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