CALGARY – Justin Williams helped the Los Angeles Kings finally win a game in Calgary, and in doing so knocked off one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Williams had a goal and two assists and also scored the winning goal in the shootout Saturday night as the Kings won 4-3 over Calgary, snapping the Flames six-game winning streak.
“We haven’t won here for such a long time so it felt good,”said Williams.“This is always such a tough arena to play in. Calgary is always a really tough team to play at home.”
Los Angeles had lost 10 straight at the Scotiabank Saddledome dating back to December 2005.
“Tonight, it just felt right, everything was working,”added Williams. “I was able to get some shots on net and the guys put the puck in the net too. This was a heck of an atmosphere. It was real a real fun game to play in tonight.”
Calgary’s seventh shooter was defenceman Jay Bouwmeester and after he hit the goal post, Kings coach Terry Murray turned to Williams who snapped a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff to win it.
“I had two shootout attempts earlier this season and missed them both, so I knew I wasn’t going to be in the top few,” said Williams. “But when I got my chance, I knew I was going to shoot because a lot of guys tried to deke and the two guys before me missed the puck.
“Maybe I’ll get a little further up in the rotation next time.”
Rob Scuderi and Dustin Brown also scored for Los Angeles (29-22-2). The Kings are 2-0-1 through its first three stops in a stretch of 10 consecutive games on the road. They’ll return home for a few days before heading to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins on Thursday.
The victory moves the Kings back into a playoff spot, passing Minnesota and into eighth place in the tight Western Conference.
Alex Tanguay had two goals and an assist to lead Calgary (26-21-7). Robyn Regehr also scored for the Flames, who blew a chance to move into a playoff position for what would have been the first time since Oct. 29.
Brendan Morrison had three assists extending his point streak to seven games.
“We were down three times in the game and we came back, we hit multiple posts in the shootout, we were right there,”Morrison said.“We can’t hang our heads, it was a pretty good effort overall.”
Both teams entered the night with 58 points each, part of a three-way tie for ninth place in the tight Western Conference.
Tanguay’s second goal of the night at 11:15 of the third period tied it 3-3, with the Flames already on the power play and a delayed penalty coming up to Jarrett Stoll for hooking.
After picking up a pair of assists in the first period, Williams’ 19th goal of the season at 11:02 of the second period broke a 2-2 tie.
After converting their first man advantage, the Kings broke a 2-2 tie at 11:02 of the second period on what was virtually another power-play goal.
Coming seconds after Rene Bourque’s penalty had expired, Williams’ goal on a rebound from a scramble in front of the Flames net was the result of an extended stretch of pressure in Calgary’s end.
“It’s a critical time of the year to put some points on the board and keep climbing in the standings,”said Murray.
Calgary trailed 2-1 entering the second period but it only took them 45 seconds to get back to even.
Pressure by the Flames top line led to a goal by Tanguay, who was set up in front by Morrison and had the entire top half of the net to shoot at with Quick sprawled on his stomach.
“It was a hard fought battle, it could have gone both ways,”Tanguay said.“When you go to the seventh round in the shootout, it’s pretty much coin flip.”
The game got off to a bizarre start with each team scoring in the game’s opening 90 seconds, and with the goal scorer in both cases being the most unlikeliest of players.
At 0:39, Scuderi lobbed a shot towards the Flames net that fooled Kiprusoff and squeezed between his pads.
It was the second of the year for Scuderi, who had only scored once in his previous 205 games and had never scored more than oncein any of his six previous NHL seasons.
It took the Flames only 42 seconds to tie it with Regehr answering back with his first goal in 65 games.
Notes: Fan favourite Craig Conroy, who retired Friday, received a lengthy standing ovation when, during a break in play in the first period, he was shown on the scoreboard video screen sitting amongst the Flames management. … Lance Bouma, 20, from Provost, Alta., made his NHL debut for Calgary… Calgary LW Niklas Hagman (lower body) missed his second straight game. … Calgary coach Brent Sutter coached his 300th NHL game. .. Brown is the lone player remaining from the Kings team that last won in Calgary on December 21, 2005. … The Kings improve to a perfect 17-0-0 when leading after two periods.