LOS ANGELES -
In their return to STAPLES Center for the first time in 19 days, coming off of their longest road trip of the season, the Kings nabbed a well-deserved 2-1 victory Tuesday night over the Calgary Flames.
After sitting out Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, Anze Kopitar promptly returned to the Kings’ lineup, where he made his presence known by burying the evening’s game-winning goal.
Calgary’s Joni Ortio was making just his third start of the season, and had won in his only previous start made at STAPLES Center.
Ortio didn’t make things easy on the Kings Tuesday night.
After a scoreless first period in which the Kings outshot the Flames by a wide margin of 13-3, they finally struck midway through the second when Luke Schenn buried his second goal in a Kings uniform.
While the Kings worked the puck low in Calgary’s zone, Schenn pinched in to intercept a puck along the right sideboards and quickly fired a shot on net. Schenn’s shot, never leaving the ice, threaded its way through traffic and past Ortio to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Just two minutes after Schenn’s opening marker, Sean Monahan tied the game for the Flames, capitalizing eight seconds into Calgary’s first power play of the night.
In the third, and with the Kings working on their third power play of the evening, Anze Kopitar swatted home his 18th goal of the season to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.
Jake Muzzin, quarterbacking at the top of Calgary’s zone, found Drew Doughty with a pass atop the left circle. Doughty fired a shot into traffic, which caromed off of a Flames skate and onto the stick of Kopitar, who was waiting all alone on the back door.
Jonathan Quick earned his 30th win of the season, becoming the third goalie in the NHL to reach that mark this season.
Six different players led the Kings in points scored (1), Jeff Carter in shots taken (6), Dustin Brown in hits delivered (4), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (32:10). Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the win.
The Kings will continue their three-game home stand when they host the Edmonton Oilers at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.