LOS ANGELES – They had the shots, but the goals struggled to come for the Kings in a 2-1 OT loss to the Calgary Flames Monday night at STAPLES Center.
Calgary’s Joni Ortio caused some headaches for the Kings and their aggressive offense, as he turned away 33 of the 34 shots he faced, shouldering the Flames to their fifth-straight road victory.
The Kings’ home stand, which has been a rather trying one for the club, ends with a disappointing 1-2-4 mark, where overtime losses hampered them mightily.
“You have to bounce back,” Darryl Sutter stressed after the game. “You have to keep bouncing back. That is what you do. If we weren’t strong like that, then we wouldn’t have bounced back tonight. That’s a big point, and at the end of the day that’s how you have to look at it.”
The Kings, who outshot the Flames 10-3 in the first period, and 27-9 after two periods, failed to build an early lead with all of the pressure they put forth in the opening two periods of play. Their power play didn’t do them any favors either, the Kings going 0-4 in man-advantage situations Monday night.
“We had our opportunities,” noted Dustin Brown after the loss. “Our power play needs to be better. Not that it needs to win us games, but it has to give us momentum, and it didn’t do that tonight which let them hand around.”
The first goal of the game wasn’t scored until there were less than 10 minutes left to play in regulation. That goal came off the stick of Matt Greene, who buried a laser of a shot from the point and past Joni Ortio to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
As the Kings applied pressure in Calgary’s zone, Trevor Lewis won a battle for the puck in the corner, chipped it up the half-boards to Dustin Brown, who found Matt Greene with a pass atop the right point.
Greene, with some time on his hands, took two steps in to alter the angle of his shot, then let loose with a cannon, beating Ortio high to the glove side. For Greene, it was his third goal of the season.
Just over three minute after Greene’s go-ahead marker, and with just over six minutes to play in regulation, Calgary’s Sean Monahan beat Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot after pouncing on an Alec Martinez turnover atop the Flames’ zone.
The Kings once again found themselves playing past regulation, where they’ve struggled mightily this season.
Those struggles continued, as Dennis Wideman wristed home the game-winning goal off of the camera centered on the bet’s back bar with :52 seconds remaining in overtime. The goal wasn’t signaled on the ice, and play continued until the next whistle.
Wideman’s shot was reviewed in Toronto, deemed a good goal, securing a 2-1 OT win for the Flames.
The Kings are now 2-12 in their 14 games that have extended to overtime or a shootout this season, and have lost their previous eight. Their 12 losses after regulation are the most for any team in the NHL. In their seven-game home stand alone, the Kings dropped four games after regulation time.
“We need two points right now,” Dustin Brown expressed in the locker room. “The fact of the matter is we need points, especially against teams like that. It doesn’t matter how good we’re playing or how bad we’re playing, we need to find ways to win games.”
The Kings will have a shot at a win, and a much-needed two points Wednesday night in San Jose.
Matt Greene (1G), Trevor Lewis (1A), and Dustin Brown each registered a point, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, and Jeff Carter led all Kings players in shots taken (5), Robyn Regehr in hits delivered (7), four players register three blocked shots, and Drew Doughty logged the most ice time (31:51). Jonathan Quick made 21 saves in the OT loss.
With the loss, the Kings’ record drops to 20-14-12; their mark on home ice at STAPLES Center falls to 15-6-6. The Kings finished their seven-game home stand with a 1-2-4- record, only pocketing six of a possible 14 points. The Kings will venture out for a one-game road trip to face the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night at SAP Center. The puck is slated to drop at 7:30PM PT.