Monahan, Gaudreau push Flames past Kings
CALGARY, Alberta -- The Los Angeles Kings are one game closer to the end of their season.
Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau each recorded three points, and the Calgary Flames skated to a 5-2 win over the Kings on Sunday.
Los Angeles (34-30-7) remains six points back of the Nashville Predators in the hunt for the second Western Conference wild-card playoff berth. Each team has 11 games remaining.
Monahan and Gaudreau both scored once and added two assists. Mark Giordano, Michael Stone and Kris Versteeg, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary (41-27-4). Brian Elliot made 19 saves for his 10th straight win in the Calgary goal.
Anze Kopitar and Nic Dowd had the goals for the Kings (34-30-7).
"There's still 22 points to be had," said Kings right winger Jarome Iginla, a former Flames star. "Things can change very quickly, but we do know we have to get our fair share of them. Whether that's all of them or not, we know we have to win."
Calgary is third in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, who host the Kings on Monday.
The Flames chased Kings starting goalie Jonathan Quick with two goals on their first eight shots. Monahan beat him with a wrist shot to the glove side from the left faceoff circle at 8:15, and Stone blasted a slap shot past Quick from almost the identical spot at 11:36.
Kopitar jabbed a short pass from Dustin Brown past Elliott at 18:40 of the first to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Giordano and Gaudreau scored within a minute of each other to open up a 4-1 lead in the second. Giordano's shot from the point hit Alec Martinez's stick and beat Ben Bishop at 47 seconds, and Gaudreau scored on a breakaway deke at 1:37, putting a backhander just under the crossbar.
"These games are fun to play in," Monahan said. "I think we came out moving our feet and making plays. We got a couple of lucky bounces. Once you get that confidence to start the game, it usually starts to roll throughout the game."
Dowd scored his first goal in 33 games on a tip-in at 5:31, cutting the deficit to 4-2, but that was it for Los Angeles.
"The first two minutes of the second period were nothing close to where we wanted to come out and play hard," said Kopitar, the Kings' captain. "We put ourselves into a big hole and couldn't get out of it."
The contest featured a nasty elbow from Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk on Drew Doughty in the first period that wasn't called. Doughty lay on the ice for several minutes but got up and continued.
"He's a pretty dirty player, that kid," Doughty told Fox Sports. "To be a rookie and play like that is a little surprising. I don't know exactly what happened because I got hit in the head, but I thought he elbowed me. ... It hurt pretty bad, and it's going to hurt for a little bit."
Calgary held forward Micheal Ferland out of the lineup for fear that he has the mumps. The 24-year-old left winger was placed in isolation earlier Sunday. Ferland has 14 goals and 21 points in 67 games and has been playing on the first line as of late with Monahan and Gaudreau.
NOTES: C Curtis Lazar, who was acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the trading deadline, made his debut for Calgary. The former Senators first-round pick struggled with one assist in 33 games before be shipped west, but he logged an assist Sunday. ... With 622 goals, Kings RW Jarome Iginla is just three behind former Colorado star Joe Sakic for 13th on the all-time list. ... The Flames signed their second-round choice from 2016, G Tyler Parsons of Chesterfield, Mich., to a three-year entry contract on Sunday. He plays for the London Knights of the OHL. ... Los Angeles' scratches were D Brayden McNabb, C Nick Shore and C Jordan Nolan. ... Calgary's scratches were D Dennis Wideman, C Freddie Hamilton and D Rasmus Andersson.