Kings drop second straight in 4-2 loss to Flames

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
The Kings once again failed to come up big in the third and fell to 0-2 on their road trip.

Los Angeles headed into Calgary on the second night of a Canadian back-to-back looking to claim a bounce-back win over the Flames. Perhaps needing some time to get their legs under them, it was a quiet first period for Los Angeles. Neither team could find the net in the opening period as the first intermission saw a 0-0 score. The second period was a different story, however, with Phillip Danault using his 11th score on the season to put the Kings up 1-0. The Flames would quickly respond with 2 goals in less than a minute to claim a 2-1 lead. Late in the period, Kevin Fiala would deliver the game-tying score to send a 2-2 game into the third and final period. It was the same situation as their Monday night game in Edmonton, and for the second straight night, the Kings ended up on the wrong side of things. A score from Yegor Sharangovich would give the Flames the 3-2 lead with about 8 minutes to play, and Calgary would nail an empty-net goal in the final moments to add the cherry on top. Los Angeles failed to find a clutch stretch of play once again and fell 4-2.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

Talbot takes the loss against his old team

Goalie Cam Talbot joined his 7th NHL club when he became a member of the Kings for the 2023-2024 season. On Tuesday night, the 12-year vet got the start against one of his old teams, the Flames. Talbot played for the Flames in the 2019-2020 season and started in 22 games for them (26 total appearances). He went 12-10 and grabbed 2 shutout performances in the process. With a chance to make an impression against his former club in front of their home crowd, Talbot brought forth a solid effort. He managed to pitch in as the Flames outshot Los Angeles 10-3 in the first period but failed to get on the board, unable to capitalize on a power-play opportunity. However, he would allow 2 goals in the second as well as the go-ahead score in the third as Calgary walked away with the win. In total, he saved 33 of 36 shots as his record dropped to 16-14-5. It was the first start for the 36-year-old in 4 games, with fellow goalie David Rittich seeing most of the recent action. After being selected to the All-Star game, Talbot has since appeared in 4 total starts and managed a record of 2-2. The Kings will definitely need him to get hot down the stretch and provide some consistent security if they want to be a serious contender come playoff time.

Kevin Fiala puts up 2-point performance

Kevin Fiala has been one of the focal points in the action for the Kings this season, and he was the main contributor for Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Fiala scored his 17th goal of the season late in the second period to help the Kings tie the game at 2 temporarily.

Earlier in the game, he provided the assist on Phillip Denault’s score which opened the game for Los Angeles.

The two-point performance marked his 13th multi-point game so far this season. Fiala also leads the team with 8 multi-point road performances this season. He has grabbed 5 points in his last 4 trips to Calgary, proving his ability to succeed in hostile road environments. While he and the team took their second straight loss, Fiala will certainly be in the middle of things once the Kings manage to turn the ship back around in the right direction.

Kopitar extends his road points streak

After grabbing his 30th assist of the year in Monday’s game against the Oilers, Anze Kopitar was back at it against the Flames. His assist on Kevin Fiala’s second-period score was number 31 this season and helped him extend his road points streak to 5 games (since Feb. 15th, 2024). It’s the 17th time in Kopitar’s career that he has recorded a 5-game road point streak, which ties him with Bernie Nicholls for the most such streaks in Kings history. Also occurring on Tuesday night was Kopitar’s 1,350th career game, which makes him just the 55th player in NHL history to reach the milestone. He has appeared in all 58 games for Los Angeles this season, continuing his career-long display of longevity. With 17 goals and 31 assists, he currently has the 3rd most points on the team this season (just three behind the team lead).

The Kings, however, need to worry about getting back on track and maintaining their wild card position. They are currently hanging onto the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, and are tied at 68 points with the Predators. Calgary is next up in the rearview mirror with 63 points and crept even closer with their win over Los Angeles on Tuesday. It was a hot start to the second half for the squad, but they have since lost 2 of 3 and are slowly losing grip on their playoff status. After the game, interim head coach Jim Hiller shared his thoughts on the loss.

He refused to use fatigue as an excuse, acknowledging that he believes his team has the depth to execute no matter what the situation presents. The Kings will now push forward to Vancouver as they play their third game in 4 days against the Canucks on Thursday. Vancouver will prove to be a very tough opponent, as they hold down the number 1 seed in all of the Western Conference. Los Angeles will have to dig deep on the third leg of a tough road trip if they wish to snap their 2-game skid and head home on an encouraging note.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. PT.