In, yet, another game that involves the carousel of last playoff spots, the Los Angeles Kings had a chance to move back into playoff positioning with a few losses from their division rivals and their own win against the Calgary Flames. L.A. now sits in seventh place, playing a complete game with help from Calgary miscues to win, 3-0.
With Jonathan Quick in net, the game was pretty much decided early on, as Willie Mitchell scored 5:30 into the game on a slapper that found its way through the Calgary defense and past Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames started to pick up the pace after a couple of power plays, but a 2-0 lead is "out of reach" when facing the Kings. Thanks to Dustin Brown's marker early in the second, that was the case.
Calgary had 15 giveaways to L.A.'s two, and one final giveaway sealed the deal for the Kings, as Justin Williams, who originally had credit for the L.A.'s first goal of the game, got the unquestionable empty-netter.
While L.A. isn't flashy by any means this year, they skated hard to the net, which resulted in more chances for the Kings all game than for the Flames. Anze Kopitar, who notched two assists in this game, was the catalyst for all of that. Also, unlike the last game, L.A. scored first, which they have now done 42 times, and have won 30 of those games.
Also, it helps that Quick is back in the other end taking care of things. Only facing 19 shots, he's now hoisting a 1.93 goals-against average and a .930 save-percentage. He also solidified the game with 4:13 left in the first where Jarome Iginla tapped it to linemate Alex Tanguay after the faceoff, but Quick stuck the toe out and Tanguay ran out of room as he dragged the backhand around and couldn't get it up and over.
The Flames aren't totally out of the playoffs (yet) but every loss makes it that much harder, especially with only four more games to play, sitting in 11th in the West.