The LA Kings welcomed back Darryl Sutter and Trevor Lewis with a standing ovation and video tribute at the first TV timeout of the game.

I guess it’s a 3-2 league after all. I thought it was ironic that the LA Kings fell 3-2 in Darryl Sutter’s first game back at STAPLES Center.

Goal Breakdown

LAK – Iafallo (9), Assists: Arvidsson (6), Edler (9)

CGY – Mangiapane (16) (Power Play), Assists: Backlund (5), Hanifin (8)

CGY – Lucic (7) (Power Play), Assists: Mangiapane (3), Kylington (11)

CGY – Tkachuk (11), Unassisted

LAK – Edler (1), Assists: Arvidsson (7)

Stats

Goals: 

LAK: 2

CGY: 3

Shots On Goal: 

LAK: 42

CGY: 32

Hits:

LAK: 26

CGY: 22

Faceoff Percentage: 

LAK: 53.7%

CGY: 46.3%

Power Plays: 

LAK: 0/2

CGY: 2/4

Five things that stood out:

1. Penalty-filled first period

Alex Iafallo got the Kings on the board first, re-directing Alex Edler”s shot from the point past Jacob Markstrom.

However, LA committed three penalties in the first period. Dustin Brown was called for hooking halfway through the opening frame, leading to Calgary’s first goal of the game and Andrew Mangiapane‘s fifth goal on the man advantage this season.

Grundstrom was then called for “cross-checking” Milan Lucic, who returned the favor by giving the Flames a 2-1 advantage. Brown then committed another hooking penalty wiping out the Kings’ powerplay toward the end of the period, leaving 54 seconds of carry-over time in the middle frame.

The Kings had a really bad defensive breakdown on the second powerplay goal right in front of Cal Petersen. That cannot happen.

As noted in the preview, Calgary has been really good on the man advantage this season, and the Kings needed to stay out of the box in this game.

2. Cal me maybe

After being rewarded with a brand new three-year contract extension, Cal Petersen is not putting a lot of trust in the front office. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in the shortened 56-game schedule last year, but he has not played well this season.

Petersen owns a -4.80 GSAA (goals saved above average), third-worst for goalies with at least 10 starts, including Thursday’s performance.

Despite the breakdown on Lucic’s goal, the Notre Dame alum probably should have made the save on that one. Then into the second period, Matthew Tkachuk picked his corner and let it rip.

Again, Cal Petersen probably should have made that save, but he may have been screened by Adrian Kempe/Johnny Gaudreau. At any rate, the goal made it a 3-1 game for Calgary.

“We certainly didn’t want to be in that situation, but I thought getting the second one gave us a little bit more life and belief,” Todd McLellan said on being down 3-1. “Right to the end, we forced the goaltender to make some saves and scramble around.”

With Jonathan Quick having one-year left on his contract after this season, Petersen’s poor start is not exactly a comforting feeling.

That said, he (Petersen) made a couple of big saves in the middle frame, most notably on Tkachuk’s point-blank chance, keeping the score from being even more lopsided.

3. Respect your Edlers

After having his first goal in an LA Kings uniform changed earlier this season, Alex Edler rocketed one past Markstrom with under two minutes to play in the second period.

The tally not only marked Edler’s first with the Kings, but it was also career goal No. 100 for the 35-year-old.

“It was nice to score a goal,” he said after the game. “I don’t care too much about the number of it, it’s been a long, long time since I scored a goal, so that was nice. I obviously would have much rather had the win.”

And some useless trivia for you – with two points on the night, Edler has already passed last season’s point total.

The Kings went just 1-4-2 on the seven-game homestand. Now, they will travel to Edmonton for the first leg of a back-to-back with Vancouver on Sunday and Monday. It’s time to sink or swim.

A daunting December schedule will make or break these LA Kings

4 thoughts

  1. I like Cal, but at some point he needs to start winning some games. When Quick first took over, he wasn’t winning any games either. But Cal is older, and it’s time to start.

  2. Totally agree RE: Petersen!
    The way Kings are currently constructed they are a 2-1 team & have to rely on their goaltending & defense to keep them in games. So far this season Petersen is/has allowed @ least (1) one soft goal per game all of which have ended up in losses. The Lucic goal last night was just another example of his technique being off as he come across the crease, no paddle down & the 5 hole wide open for business. Even Milan looked suprised his underwhelming soft shot went in.

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