Kings face rematch with Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames

Kings face rematch with Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames
Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13), who had a hat trick, tries to score in overtime on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter and defenseman Drew Doughty were fielding questions about the game-breaking ability of Calgary’s prized rookie, the undersized left wing Johnny Gaudreau.

Gaudreau, who was named the league’s No. 1 star of the week on Monday, broke the spirit of the Kings in the Flames’ come-from-behind win in overtime a week ago.

(OK … maybe temporarily broke their spirit.)

"Yeah, he got a hat trick last game," said Doughty. "But had some lucky bounces and whatnot. We know he's a pretty good player and good in the offensive zone, good at being shifty and quick. We've got to shut him down obviously."


Said Sutter: "We have players similar, in terms of Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. One player is not going to win you games other than once and awhile, a goaltender."

Predators center Colin Wilson and Arizona center Sam Gagner were named the NHL’s second and third stars of the week, respectively. Gaudreau had the hat trick against the Kings and followed up with two goals in a 16-second span against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

"I'm fortunate to get a couple of goals here," Gaudreau said. "I know I didn't have too many before this week."

Said Flames goalie Jonas Hiller, who is scheduled to start against the Kings on Monday night: “He is not really vocal in the room or anything. Sometimes you miss him. And on the ice, it’s almost the same thing, you don’t see him and suddenly he finds a way to score.”

The Kings were downplaying the revenge factor after having blown a late two-goal lead to the Flames at Staples Center a week ago. Perhaps some of the sting was erased by the combination of the short Christmas break and Saturday’s comprehensive victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Kings forwards Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik were said to be under the weather and did not take part in the morning skate. Of the two, it seems more likely Carter would be able to play against the Flames. Gaborik’s status was unclear.

Also, it appears that defenseman Jeff Schultz could be in the lineup. Of course Sutter often says, wait for the songs. As in, the national anthems of the United States and Canada.

Schultz grew up in Calgary, the community of Lake Bonavista, and his parents still live here. Although Schultz has his name on the Stanley Cup -- by virtue of his seven playoff games for the Kings in the spring – this would be his first regular-season appearance for the Kings.

"It would be great," Schultz said. "I haven't been here [playing] in a few years and I'm sure there's a lot of people coming to the game, and it would be nice to see me back out there.

"We'll find out and wait and see."