Markstrom reigns over streaking Kings as Flames win 2-1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jacob Markstrom made 32 saves Tuesday night to backstop the Calgary Flames to a critical 2-1 victory over the streaking Los Angeles Kings.
Andrew Mangiapane and Walker Duehr scored for Calgary, which won its second consecutive game and improved to 7-3-2 in its last 12.
Sean Durzi had the lone goal for Los Angeles, which scored 19 in its previous three games. The Kings have been the NHL’s hottest team, entering the night on a franchise-record 12-game point streak (10-0-2).
“I don’t think it was a lack of effort, certainly today,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “It was a hard-fought game, a physical game. For the most part we did a good job. Just obviously unfortunately we didn’t convert on a few of our chances.”
Los Angeles is two points behind first-place Vegas and one up on Edmonton in the Pacific Division. The Oilers won 7-4 in Las Vegas.
The Flames moved within two points of the Winnipeg Jets, who occupy the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Winnipeg lost 3-0 at struggling San Jose.
Starting for the 15th time in 16 games, Markstrom turned in one of his best performances this season. The veteran goalie made numerous important saves to help the Flames’ 2-1 lead from the first period hold up the rest of the way.
“He was sharp. Made some big stops. He probably stole us two points,” Calgary center Elias Lindholm said.
Making his sixth start in goal since being acquired in a trade with Columbus, Joonas Korpisalo made 30 stops but lost for the first time with Los Angeles.
“Both goaltenders were first and second star in whatever order you want to pick,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “They both played well. Korpi made some really good saves for us. He gave us a chance to have those good looks at the other end. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t reward him with at least one to get him a point.”
Momentum swung halfway through the first period when Rasmus Andersson’s goal, which would have made it 2-0, was waved off after an offside review. Less than two minutes later, the Kings tied it.
Durzi was left with open space to skate in from the blue line and he whipped a shot into the top corner.
Calgary restored its lead at 17:59 when Duehr slipped a shot past Korpisalo from the side of the net. It was the sixth goal in 21 games for the rookie from South Dakota, who was playing on the fourth line.
“It felt like a playoff game. We had our pushes, they had their pushes and I thought Marky stood on his head tonight and gave us a chance to win,” Duehr said.
Eight days ago in Los Angeles, the Kings thumped Calgary 8-2.
“Obviously, we’re not very happy about the last meeting against these guys and it’s still fresh in the memory. Today I thought we played a better game,” Markstrom said.
Los Angeles made three lineup changes. Blake Lizotte returned from a one-game suspension, but RW Gabe Vilardi (upper body) wasn’t with the Kings to begin the road trip after getting injured in the previous game. Arthur Kaliyev also drew in up front with Jaret Anderson-Dolan coming out. On the blue line, Alex Edler replaced Sean Walker.
It was Pride Night at the Saddledome, with all Flames players wearing custom jerseys for warmups that were designed by local artist Megan Parker. The Flaming C on the front and the numbers featured a pattern of flora and fauna from Alberta prairies arranged to reflect the rainbow-colored pride flag.
Kings: Continue a four-game trip at Edmonton on Thursday night.
Flames: Play at Vancouver on Friday night.
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