Six different Kings scored goals during a 6-2 rout of the defenseless Calgary Flames on Saturday night at Staples Center. Two had three points apiece in the team’s eighth victory in its last 10 games. The goaltender needed to make only 17 saves in a bounce-back performance.
Jeff Carter, Jake Muzzin, Trevor Lewis, Justin Williams, Anze Kopitar and Colin Fraser scored for the Kings. Slava Voynov matched his career high with three assists, Williams added two assists and goalie Jonathan Quick made 17 saves in a winning return to the Kings’ net.
So, naturally, the Kings were all smiles after winning so handily, right?
Of course not.
They won in comprehensive fashion, but their game was far from complete.
“We’re still trying to play a complete game,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. “We’re coming off a game when we didn’t, and the game prior to that we had to score (four) goals in the third period, which you’re not going to do very often. Or ever again.”
Sutter referred first to the Kings’ dreary 5-2 loss Thursday to the Dallas Stars, after which he criticized the team’s goaltending and defensive play, and then to their their rally from a 4-1 deficit Tuesday to defeat the St. Louis Blues 6-4.
The Kings certainly had their moments Saturday against the Flames. On the plus side, they turned a tight game at the end of the first period into a rout only a few minutes into the third. On the minus side, their intensity and attention to detail seemed to ebb and flow.
“Obviously, we were happy with the six goals, but we kind of got into a little track meet a little later on there in the third period, and that’s certainly not what the Kings are about,” Williams said. “The Kings are about a sound defensive team and I thought the first period we were way too loose.”
Carter got the Kings’ pointed in the right direction by scoring his team-leading 17th goal and his 13th in the last 13 games with a power-play strike 4 minutes, 18 seconds into the game off tic-tac-toe passing from Voynov to Dustin Brown to Carter.
“It’s kind of funny,” Quick said when asked about Carter’s goal-scoring binge. “Every time he has the puck, he shoots (and) it doesn’t matter where he shoots it from — it could be from the neutral zone — I feel like the fans expect it to go in.
“So, he’s playing great hockey for us. You know he’s scoring big goals and he’s one of the leaders on the team and we need him to do that, and he’s one of the biggest reasons why we are in the standings where we are right now.”
The Kings began the day in fifth place, but moved into fourth after improving their record to 13-8-2. They reach the midway point of the lockout-shortened 48-game season with a rematch against the Flames on Monday at Staples Center.
“Got lots of work to do,” Sutter said. “As a team, individually, we have lots of work to do. If you break it down by position, by who plays with who, they’ve got lots of work to do.”