What we learned from the Kings' 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames

What we learned from the Kings' 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames
Kings players Anze Kopitar, left, and Jeff Carter try to score on Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller, second from right, who gets some help from teammate Mark Giordano. (Jeff McIntosh / Associated Press)

The Kings lost to the Flames right before the Christmas break, and dropped another one to Calgary on Monday night after the short holiday interruption of the NHL schedule. Softening the twin blows was their victory over the Sharks on Saturday at Staples Center.

Road remains unkind


Consider this: The Kings have won four times on the road in 17 games. Their road woes have been a season-long issue.

Last season, they hit road victory No. 4 by Oct. 17, and recorded their fifth win away from Staples Center by mid-November.

The potential good news? Their next chance for road win No. 5 comes Tuesday night against lowly Edmonton. The Oilers have only one win this season against Western Conference teams.

Toffoli continues to produce

Youngster Tyler Toffoli, who had the Kings' only goal, has scored in back-to-back games and has recorded points in three of the last four games. He leads the Kings with 12 goals.

But he was shaking his head about a missed opportunity on Monday. In fact, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller took it away from him, making a terrific pad save at the end of the second period.

"He just got his leg on it," Toffoli said. "I tried to get it upstairs but it was kind of rolling there. I think if I put that in, it would have been a totally different ending to the game."

Carter pushing through illness

It would have been very easy for Kings forward Jeff Carter to miss Monday’s game. By all accounts, he was feeling under the weather, and along with forward Marian Gaborik, missed Monday’s morning skate.

Gaborik was scratched for the game because of flu-like symptoms. Carter not only played, but his ice time was 17 minutes, 23 seconds against the Flames. He had four shots on goal and won seven of nine faceoffs.

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t happy about many elements of Monday’s game, and rightly so. But he went out of his way to praise Carter’s performance.

"He's been really good for us," Sutter said. "I'm sure he's going to say he had a hard time tonight. But he gutted it out.

"That's what he does. The tough part for him [recovering] is the next couple of days."