Bleary-eyed and tired from perhaps the longest, ugliest 20 minutes of hockey this season by the Kings, Anze Kopitar got right to the point.
“I think our second period was God-awful,” Kopitar said. “I mean, we didn’t make any plays. We left Quickie hanging. I don’t think there was a whole lot of puck battles that we won. You can’t expect to play like that and not give up any goals.”
The ledger showed that the Kings allowed four goals in a second period worthy of much more colorful adjectives in a 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. The final score Thursday looked better because of Tanner Pearson’s second goal of the game, but it could have been worse if not for Jonathan Quick, and the Kings did not press their usual third-period button.
They hit the halfway mark of the regular season, game No. 41, with a sour taste and a 5-5-3 record against the Pacific Division. Kings coach John Stevens often uses these dips as teachable moments, and his grease board is full for the next lesson.
“You’re not going to win on the road against a good team with a goalie and half your D and half your forwards, and that’s kind of what happened tonight,” Stevens said.
Calgary, which scratched Jaromir Jagr and indicated from coach Glen Gulutzan that an update on him will be given later, got it done with their otherwise youthful base.
Sean Monahan finished off the four-goal charge with a goal from the slot to give Calgary a 4-2 lead. The Flames also got goals from Micheal Ferland, Mark Jankowski and Troy Brouwer and outshot the Kings, 17-5. Quick spent the 20 minutes frantically sprawled or laid out to make up for his teammates.
“I think the only thing going for us was Quickie,” Kopitar said. “That’s about it.
“We haven’t had it like that and we have to make sure we learn from it.”
Calgary’s third goal came when Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid had the puck get away from him in the corner — right to Jankowski, who leaped and got his stick on a second shot that fell in. Quick skated out to talk to referee Jon McIssac after the goal was reviewed, which annoyed the 19,206 fans.
Those same fans soon cheered in appreciation for a dominant shift by Mikael Backlund’s line that summed up the period.
Pearson provided a bright spot as he slammed home his eighth goal with Quick pulled with 91 seconds left — a welcome goal outburst for the struggling winger.
“I think I’ve got to do it consistently, and one night doesn’t really prove you,” Pearson said. “You’ve just got to keep on playing well. I think if you do the little things right, the bigger picture happens.”
Derek Forbort also scored on a harmless shot from the far left edge of the left circle, which ended his 93-game scoring drought.
Iafallo is scratched a second straight game
Alex Iafallo was scratched for a second straight game and Stevens said his former top line left wing “didn’t have the jump he had before.” He also indicated that fatigue is a factor.