The Five Takeaways
Five notable items from the Calgary-Los Angeles game
TAKEAWAY ONE - KIPPER'S UNBELIEVABLE SAVE:
Smyth dished the puck off to Trevor Lewis, who had followed him in on the forecheck, and the young forward went streaking towards the front of the net. He looked like he was about to shoot the puck in the slot but made an excellent backhand pass to Jarret Stoll, who had rushed in at the side of the net. Kiprusoff appeared to have committed to the potential Lewis shot so when the quick pass to Stoll came, the former Oiler looked like he had a open net to shoot on. However, his opportunity to score his ninth goal of the season was denied in spectacular fashion.
The Finnish netminder dove over as soon as he saw the pass made and somehow managed to get his stick on the shot. The puck rolled slowly throughout the crease but before it could cross the goal line. Mark Giordano jumped into the blue paint and knocked the puck off into safer terriority.
TAKEAWAY TWO - SECOND PERIOD FLATLINE:
After falling behind by a goal in the first period, the Flames were hoping to pick up the pace in the middle stanza. That plan didn't pan out.
The Kings dominated the play throughout the second period, sending 11 shots on net and drawing three minor penalties. The Flames mustered a paltry four shots on net and had just one power play to work with. During the man advantage, they allowed two scoring opportunites. It wasn't exactly the outing they were hoping for.
Fortunately for the club, Kiprusoff continued with the brilliant play he displayed in the opening frame, stoned the Kings on all 11 shots they sent at him. During one sequence when the Kings were on the power play, he was able to make yet another highlight reel save. Smyth managed to get his stick on the puck during a scramble in front of the net and he wired a wrister from close range. Kiprusoff was able to get his glove up in time to stop the short-side shot, keeping his team in a one-goal contest.
TAKEAWAY THREE - LINE SHUFFLING
In the third period, head coach Brent Sutter did some line shuffling to see if it could boost his club. While the Flames weren't able to generate any offence in the final period, the line juggling did give the club some quality scoring chances.
Rene Bourque was moved to the second line with Olli Jokinen and Niklas Hagman and the trio were able mere centimeters from beating Jonathan Quick on more than one occasion.
Midway through the period, excellent forechecking led to a near goal from Hagman. Bourque circled around the hashmarks, backhanding the puck to Jokinen. The centerman wasn't covered so he took his time, checking where each of his teammates were before spotting Hagman streaking towards the net. Jokinen threw the puck over quickly, through the blue paint and towards his winger. Hagman had an open net to deflect the pass into but was tied up by a Kings defenceman and couldn't get his stick in the right position to make the tip.
TAKEAWAY FOUR - GIVEAWAYS
A huge reason for the Kings ability to put over 30 shots on net was the Flames propensity to hand them the puck in the defensive zone. Through 60 minutes, Calgary had 20 giveaways with 17 of those coming in the first two periods.
With turnovers popping up all over the defensive and neutral zone, the Flames handicapped themselves and ended up taking six minor penalties through the game. The winning tally came at the hands of Anze Kopitar, who notched a power play marker at 5:10 of the third period.
The defensive tandem of Sarich and Mark Giordano combined for six giveaways, the highest total from the blueline pairings.
TAKEAWAY FIVE - TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
Calgary was able to get on the scoresheet at 16:59 of the third period when Olli Jokinen scored his third of the season while the Flames had the man advantage. That seemed to spark the club, who managed to get 15 shots on net during the final period, but with just minutes left in the game, the aggressive rush could not even up the contest.
The last minute push showcased how strong the Flames can be on the forecheck but without that kind of effort given throughout 60 minutes, their offence was limited to a single tally thanks to strong play from Quick and the Kings.