Oh brother. Make that two brothers. It was a showdown between Darryl Sutter, coach of the Los Angeles Kings and Brent Sutter, coach of the Calgary Flames. It also marked the first time the two had faced each other as coaches. A subplot in this all too familiar reunion of sorts, was the return to Calgary of Mike Cammalleri, who played for both clubs at one point. Cammy would pay dividends in this one, but would it be enough for his current club to prevail?
There wasn’t much hullabaloo in the first period but the tempo would be altered drastically in the second.
Just 27 ticks in, the puck skipped past Flames defenceman Mark Giordano and Mike Richards pounced. Richards swooped in and buried the biscuit by a defenseless Miikka Kiprusoff, for his 14th and it was 1-0 L.A.
Minutes later, the Kings worked the puck around the offensive zone. It was Richards digging it out to Jarret Stoll, who found defenceman Matt Greene just inside the point. Greene wasted no time and promptly zipped a wrist shot to the back of the net, for his third, doubling the Kings lead.
Later in the frame, the Kings brought out the heavy artillery. Namely, AK, aka, Anze Kopitar. On the power play no less. The Kings played a little “high-lo” funneling the puck around, as Kopitar dropped down from the left circle and parked himself in front of the net. As the puck pin-balled its way in front, Kopitar capitalized and caught a compromised Kiprusoff, off guard for the tally. Kopitar joined Richards in the 14 goal club (for whatever that’s worth) and tripled the Kings advantage.
Perhaps the Flames could blame some of the “Cammy karma” brought in from Montreal. They had after all won their last eight matches at Scotiabank Saddledome. Yet it was Cammalleri netting Calgary’s lone marker for the evening. Just over a minute after Kopitar’s goal, Cammalleri re-directed a shot by Anton Babchuk, past Kings All-Star goalie Jonathan Quick, getting the Flames on the board. The power-play goal was Cammalleri’s tenth of the year and made it 3-1.
In the third, there were hardly any shots, let alone goals, with the two clubs combining for 13. The only goal the rest of the way, was Dustin Brown’s 12th of the year, an empty netter for the Kings in the third, salting away a 4-1 victory.
Hence Darryl bests Brent and his old squad in the process. Under Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles improves to 7-1-4. L.A. now has 52 points and stands at seventh in the Western Conference.