The Los Angeles Kings continue to persevere in their pursuit of a Western Conference playoff berth despite missing eight players through injury.
Lias Andersson scored the game-clinching shootout goal after Victor Arvidsson tied the game late in the third period as the Kings cruised to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
“A bold, bold win,” said Arvidsson, whose 19th goal at 15:38 came just over two minutes after Calgary took its first lead of the night. “The team is not giving up.
“It’s just who we are. It’s in our DNA. It’s a good quality to have this time of year.
Sneaking away from Mikael Backlund’s cover, Arvidsson opened up as he raced towards the net and was on the receiving end of a backhand pass from Phillip Danaut. He then beat Jacob Markstrom with a shot just inside the post.
“I turned around and saw Phil alone behind the net,” he said. “I tried to find a spot and he found me right on the tape.”
Los Angeles dominated overtime, beating the Flames 6-09, but couldn’t solve Markstrom. Four of the shots were fired on the power play.
Andersson was the second Los Angeles player in the shootout and scored by pressing a shot through Markstrom’s pads as he cut the boards. That goal would be the winner with Cal Petersen denying Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau.
“It was huge to come back. We’re running out of steam,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “Someone asked me on our Zoom call today about the heart of our team.
“With these types of wins, the heart gets bigger and stronger as we go along.”
Alex Iaffalo also scored in regulation time for Los Angeles (37-23-10), which moved within five points of Pacific Division-leading Calgary (40-18-9). But the Flames have three games in hand.
The Kings are also three points ahead of the third-placed Edmonton Oilers and six points ahead of the fourth-placed Vegas Golden Knights.
“Western is really tight and we have to earn every ice out there,” Arvidsson said. “We definitely wanted to win yesterday against Edmonton. They are right behind us.
“We got a point there and two points here and now we’re going to Winnipeg and trying to end the trip well.”
Gaudreau and Erik Gudbranson scored for the Flames, who lost consecutive games for the first time since early January.
“We weren’t very good tonight, I don’t think,” said Gaudreau, who has 31 goals. “They’re a desperate team trying to catch up with us in the standings, so we have to be ready for a bit of a drop to third.”
After winning 15 of their 17 home games (15-1-1), Calgary have won just two of their last six games (2-2-2) at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“There’s a gradual slope in the state of the game and the level of play from the first game of the year played in the NHL until the last,” Gudbranson said. “It’s a desperate time for a lot of teams, it’s a desperate time for us.
“We have to be the most desperate team every night.”
The same two teams will meet in Los Angeles on Monday night.
After allowing six goals in his last start, Petersen bounced back with a terrific performance, finishing with 26 saves. He improves to 19-11-1. Markstrom made 29 saves to drop to 31-13-8.
Trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes, Calgary tied the game 1:36 into the third on Gaudreau’s power-play goal, which capped off a rocky streak for the left winger.
He was smashed into the boards from behind by Kings defenseman Sean Durzi, drawing the penalty for cross-checking. Then on the power play, Gaudreau handed the puck to Alex Iafallo, only to chase him down and take it back. Leading Calgary on the ice again, Gaudreau finally converted a rebound from Noah Hanifin.
The Flames took the lead at 1:33 on a rare goal generated from the fourth line. Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan combined to bring the puck home to Gudbranson whose tip went through a crowd eluded by Petersen.
The only goal in two periods was Iafallo which came on a quick Kings transition after Gaudreau failed to get the puck deep before a line change in Calgary. This allowed Los Angeles to hit the ice on an odd run with Adrian Kempe finding Iafallo alone up front.
“I think it was Kopitar that knocked it in the air and then they turned around and went down the other end,” Gaudreau said. “I should have stayed on the ice obviously.
“I tried to go back. A mistake from me. »
Tkachuk’s five-game point streak (four goals, eight assists) has been snapped. The Flames lost Oliver Kylington early in the third when he went heavily into the boards after a Rasmus Kupari hit… Seventy of Gaudreau’s 91 points came at even strength, which leads the NHL.