The Kings haven’t had time to do much work on their penalty-killing or power-play units during training camp because Coach Pat Quinn has concentrated on evaluating new players and conditioning.
So, the Calgary Flames took advantage of the Kings’ penalty-killing unit, scoring six power-play goals en route to a 9-5 victory over the winless Kings Thursday night in a National Hockey League exhibition game before 16,762 fans at the Olympic Saddledome.
“There is always cause for concern when you give up nine goals,” veteran King defenseman Brian Engblom said. “You don’t want to say, ‘It’s only an exhibition game, and we’ll turn it on once the season starts.’ We’ve got to start getting our heads back in it.”
The Flames had the third-best power play in the NHL last season. Their club record for most power-play goals in one regular-season game is five.
Left wing Eddy Beers and center Dan Quinn scored two power-play goals apiece to lead the Flames (2-2), and defenseman Al MacInnis had five assists.
Right wing Tim Hunter had one goal and two assists. Center/right wing Paul Reinhart had one power-play goal and two assists, and right wing Hakan Loob had a power-play goal and an assist. Left wing Gary Roberts and defenseman Gary Suter also scored for Calgary.
The Flames, who had scored just one power-play goal in 16 chances in their three previous exhibition games, connected on six of nine power plays against the Kings.
“They picked us apart,” Quinn said of the Flames’ power play. “We only had one of our regular penalty-killers from last year out there and we had a lot of trouble in front of the net. We got pushed around.”
The Kings are winless in their first four exhibition games, but they aren’t especially worried.
“It would be foolish to panic,” said King goalie Darren Eliot, who gave up 9 goals on 41 shots. “This just points out that we have to do a lot of work to get ready when the season starts in October.”
Said Quinn: “The only thing I’m concerned about is the apparent lackadasical approach of some of our veterans. “Maybe they’re trying to get ready in their own way.”
The Kings, who left training camp in Victoria with 41 players Monday, sat out 23 veterans, including center Marcel Dionne, for this game. They used eight rookies in the lineup.
The Kings scored on four of eight power plays against the Flames.
Rookie center Dave Gans led the Kings with two power-play goals and two assists. Rookie right wing Mark Lofthouse and rookie left wing Craig Duncanson also scored power-play goals for the Kings. Veteran right wing Dave Taylor scored the Kings’ other goal.
The Kings play the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night at Winnipeg.