Always beware the backup goalie.
For nearly 30 minutes, the
Luke Schenn finally got one past Calgary goaltender Joni Ortio just before the middle of the second period and the Kings used that as a springboard to defeat the
Of the Kings' 35 wins this season, their All-Star goalie
They are 2-0 against their divisional foe, the Flames, this season and expanded their
It was an important start for the Kings in a stretch of eight of nine games at home.
"I know from over the last 17 years I've been playing, when you go on a long road trip, sometimes the first game back is really tough," center Vinny Lecavalier said. "But it felt like we gelled really good tonight. It was a really good game as a team and now we've got to keep that momentum going."
The Kings' goals, both in the second period, came from defenseman Schenn, an odd salvo from the right-wing boards, and center Anze Kopitar.
Kopitar, who missed Saturday's game at Nashville with a lower-body injury, scored his 18th of the season, wide open on the power play at 17:27 after Flames defenseman
For Kopitar, it was his fifth game-winning goal of the season. He has scored five goals in his last five games, including his hat trick against the
Kopitar admitted that it was "awful" watching, rather than playing Saturday. That was the final game of the Kings' seven-game trip, their longest of the season.
They went 3-3-1 and were shut out by New Jersey's backup goalie
On Tuesday, it was Ortio who got the start for the Flames instead of the struggling
Ortio's last start for the Flames was Oct. 30 of this season, and his last NHL win was more than a year ago, coming against the Kings on Jan. 19, 2015.
The Kings had plenty of chances and threw 20 shots at Ortio before Schenn broke through, at 9:41 of the second, with his fluky goal, flinging it at the net from the right-wing boards with Lecavalier camped out in front.
"I've actually got a couple from the same spot this year," Schenn said. "The puck comes rolling up the wall and I don't even really hesitate, just throw it to the net. A couple of times I've managed to catch a goalie not ready and you add that with traffic in front, it probably surprised him more than anything."
Said Lecavalier: "In Philly, I've seen him score a few goals from there. You have to think shot first and he did that."
Calgary tied it, 1-1, on the power play as Sean Monahan converted a nifty centering pass from linemate