For Kings, tiebreaker is no break, 2-1
This was a quick-and-dirty capsule formula of the Darryl Sutter era, L.A. style, best summed up in 60 minutes.
Well, more than 60 minutes and not that quick.
If it is the Kings and Sutter … you come to expect games not to end in regulation.
The Kings duly followed the script and found themselves in overtime against the Calgary Flames on Thursday night at Staples Center. A wide-open, end-to-end overtime could not decide the issue and Calgary won the shootout and beat the Kings, 2-1.
Using what worked Tuesday in Vancouver, the Kings went with the same shootout lineup — forward Justin Williams, defenseman Jack Johnson and center Mike Richards. Williams opened and scored, Johnson’s effort was reviewed and judged to be no goal (no rebounds allowed) and Richards missed to the left.
The Flames’ first two shooters — Olli Jokinen and former Kings forward Michael Cammalleri, who was reacquired by the Flames last week from Montreal — scored on their attempts against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Quick is 8-1-5 in his last 14 starts and has a 1.44 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage in that stretch. The Kings have recorded points in six straight games, going 3-0-3.
This was the ninth time since Sutter started coaching the Kings just before Christmas that the contest was not decided in regulation. They are 8-1-6 under Sutter and he is now 1-1 against his younger brother, Flames Coach Brent Sutter.
The goals in regulation came from Kings captain Dustin Brown in the first period, just 3 minutes 28 seconds into the game, and Flames captain Jarome Iginla at 9:15 in the second period, on the power play.
Iginla’s goal came during a mad sequence in which Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell broke his stick and teammate Trevor Lewis gave his stick to Mitchell. Lewis, making a sprawling attempt, could not prevent the cross-ice pass to Iginla, who was in the left circle and made it look almost easy.
And that was it for goals in regulation.
In contrast, the first coaching meeting between the Sutter brothers was a virtual goal-fest on Saturday night in Calgary and the Kings prevailed, 4-1.
This one featured tight checking and hard hitting throughout. One of the best examples: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty crunched Iginla with a highlight-reel check with about six minutes remaining.
Brown lauded the effort of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.
“He was good,” Brown said. “I don’t know if we got enough bodies around the net. We had some really good quality chances that he made some big saves on. I had an empty net in overtime and just missed it. It’s one of those games.”
Earlier, Sutter was in fine form, perhaps because he didn’t have to deal with a long litany of questions about facing Brent again.
The hot-button issue around the league the last few days has been whether wearing helmets in pregame warmups should be made mandatory. This comes in the aftermath of Taylor Hall’s serious facial injury, after the Edmonton Oilers youngster was cut by a teammate’s skate in warmups.
Sutter, speaking at the morning skate, said he felt it was important for players to retain some identity, adding he didn’t want to deny them “a cool thing” that they got to do for about 18 minutes or so before a game.
“They can wear wigs and sunglasses, I don’t care,” he said. “As long as they’re ready. It doesn’t bother me.”
Sutter suffered a very serious facial injury early in his career with the Chicago Blackhawks in a game against the North Stars and had to stay in a Minneapolis-area hospital for two weeks.
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