Monahan lifts Flames past Kings in shootout
Sean Monahan joined some pretty exclusive company on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old center scored his 21st goal and then got the shootout winner as the surging Calgary Flames beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 for their fourth straight victory.
It’s the first time a Calgary rookie has scored 21 goals in a single season since Jarome Iginla in 1996-97.
"It’s pretty cool," Monahan said. "Obviously, he was a big part of this team and this franchise. To be there, it’s pretty special. It’s an honor."
Monahan already has five shootout goals on eight shots — four of them have been winners — which is tied for third in the NHL. In his career, Iginla only had 10 shootout goals on 42 attempts.
"I just try and find something that’s open. I’ve had a couple of the same goals but I’ve changed it up the last couple times," said Monahan, who put the Flames ahead after the teams were tied 1-1 after three shooters. "I’m getting more confident, I guess, in being in that situation."
Karri Ramo, who finished with 41 saves through overtime, then clinched the victory with a stop on Mike Richards.
Ramo also had a big stop in overtime as Jarret Stoll tried to jam the puck over the goalie’s outstretched pad but couldn’t despite repeated attempts.
"In the past weeks, he’s been our best player and when your goalie is the best player, I think it’s an easy thing to figure out," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "He’s going to give your team lots of confidence … when they tied the game 3-3, no one panicked, everybody stayed in the game."
Starting for the ninth time in the last 10 games since coming back from a knee injury, Ramo had a shutout streak of over 124 minutes before the Kings got on the scoreboard.
T.J. Galiardi and Matt Stajan also scored in regulation for Calgary, which has won seven of its last 10.
It was also the Flames’ 49th one-goal game, which ties the 2010-11 Florida Panthers for the most in NHL history.
"We’re very optimistic," Hartley said, "I’m unbelievably proud of my group but at the same time come next September, we’re going to still be a team that missed the playoffs in the past year and we’ll have to find a way to be better and more consistent."
Stoll, Anze Kopitar and Jordan King scored for playoff-bound Los Angeles, which is locked into third spot in the Pacific Division. The Kings are 1-3-1 in their last five.
"The adversity coming back down from 3-0 is positive but being down 3-0 is not going to cut it," said Kings captain Dustin Brown.
After Stajan put the Flames ahead 3-0 with 4:32 left in the second period, the Kings pulled within one 1:27 later as Stoll and Kopitar scored 24 seconds apart.
Stoll started it with a deflection of Slava Voynov’s point shot at 16:09. Kopitar then scored his 26th as he took the puck in front of the net, carried it behind the net and back out the other side, then made a slick move to elude Monahan as he curled into the slot to zip a backhand past Ramo.
Los Angeles then tied it with 7:42 left in the third. After Calgary rookie winger Bryce Van Brabant’s clearing attempt was intercepted at the Flames blue line, Jake Muzzin’s shot was deflected in by King, who was screening Ramo.
"It’s just getting pucks to the net. It was a nice tip. It was a good play by our D-man to get it through," King said. "Once you get a spark like that, things turned around for us."
It was the 15th goal of the season for King and his third in his last four games.
Calgary opened the scoring when Galiardi scored the lone goal of the first period with 8:02 remaining.
Monahan then put a quick shot past Quick to make it 2-0 at 4:00 of the second period.
The Flames took advantage of another Kings turnover to surge in front by three as Stajan had a bouncing puck come to him and scored his 14th of the season.
"We had a lot of snowball games early in the year," said Galiardi. "We’d let one in and before we knew it there would be four. We’ve gotten better at managing our emotions and coming together and sticking together when we let in a few and that’s why we’ve been handling adversity better."
Quick faced only 18 shots.
NOTES: There were no penalties on either team in the game. For the Kings, it was the first time that had happened since Feb. 19, 1977. That had never happened for the Flames since the team moved to Calgary. … Kings D Drew Doughty (shoulder) and D Robyn Regehr each missed their second game as they nurse minor ailments. … Stajan (personal) returned after missing three games. … Flames LW Paul Byron (personal) missed his fourth game. … The Kings had won six games in a row in Calgary.