Richards has goal, assist in Kings' win
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- The Los Angeles Kings knew that winning in Darryl Sutter's return to Calgary was a big deal for their stoic coach, even if he wouldn't admit it.
Dustin Brown and Mike Richards each had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the Kings, who spoiled Mike Cammalleri's anticipated return to the Flames with a 4-1 victory over Calgary on Saturday night.
Los Angeles snapped the Flames' eight-game, home-winning streak and gave Sutter a victory over the team he ran for eight years.
"Everyone is aware of the situation, coming back here for him," Brown said. "Guys understood, whether he downplays it or not, I know he wants to win this game."
The win also gave Darryl Sutter bragging rights over his brother, Brent, the Flames' head coach. The brothers faced each other as NHL coaches for the first time. The location added more intrigue to the game that was already filled with story lines.
"It's a great building to be in," Darryl Sutter said. "That's what it's about. Hey, what more do you want? A kid from Alberta on Hockey Night in Canada in an Alberta building. Pretty awesome right?"
Matt Greene, Anze Kopitar and Brown into an empty net also scored for Los Angeles (22-15-8), which kicked off a three-game road trip.
Cammalleri had his 10th goal of the season in his first game back with the Flames (21-20-5) since being reacquired in a trade with Montreal on Thursday.
It was Calgary's first regulation loss to Los Angeles at home since Dec. 21, 2005 (10-1-1).
Darryl Sutter, who stepped down as Flames general manager in December 2010, is 7-1-4 since replacing Terry Murray as Kings coach on Dec. 17. He had taken over as Calgary coach during the 2002-03 campaign and added the GM title the following season.
He guided the Flames to within one game of winning the Stanley Cup in 2004 and coached one more season before deciding to concentrate on his GM duties.
"He was pretty intense all day, more so than usual," Kings left wing Dustin Penner said. "The way he spoke and what he said, you could tell this meant a lot to him and we were happy to get it for him."
After a scoreless first period, the Kings surged in front with three consecutive goals in the second -- the first coming just 27 seconds in.
Richards finished off a breakaway after the puck skipped over the stick of Flames defenseman Mark Giordano.
"That was a break that was nice to get, that opened it up for us. Not much else you can say, that was a gift from the hockey gods," Penner said.
The Kings made it 2-0 at 3:02 when Greene flung a wrist shot from the blue line that beat screened goalie Miikka Kiprusoff over his blocker.
"Our first period was as good of a first period as we played, probably all year," Brent Sutter said. "The second period, the puck bounced over Gio's stick, they get a 2-on-0 breakaway on it and capitalize. The next seven minutes of the period we had a lot of turnovers."
Los Angeles entered the night with the NHL's fourth best power play, and it connected at 14:48. Brown's shot changed direction off Justin Williams in front, and Kopitar was there to flip the puck into the net with Kiprusoff trapped out of position.
Calgary outshot the Kings 30-24, but struggled to solve goalie Jonathan Quick (19-11-7).
"He's just starting to get recognized," Brown said. "Quickie's been playing like that for a few years and maybe playing in L.A. he doesn't get the recognition he deserves."
With Los Angeles ahead 2-0, Quick made a pair of great saves to keep the Flames off the scoreboard. He threw out his glove to get a piece of a dangerous shot from Jay Bouwmeester. Shortly after, he sprawled across to deny a dangerous chance by Mikael Backlund from the side of the net.
"He was good, made some really good saves," Backlund said. "I had two good chances in the second, so it's frustrating I couldn't get a goal as I had some good chances."
Quick entered with a 6-1-3 record in his previous 10 starts, a 1.45 goals-against average, and .947 save percentage. All of those numbers got better.
Kiprusoff made 20 saves.
In addition to making his Flames debut, Cammalleri played against another former team. He was chosen by the Kings in the second round of the 2001 draft and played five seasons with Los Angeles.
Cammalleri started the night on left wing, alongside Backlund and Lee Stempniak, but by the third period, Cammalleri had been reunited with Jarome Iginla. Backlund and Olli Jokinen both took turns in the middle.
"It was a tough loss. We really wanted to win that one," Cammalleri said. "I thought we came out real strong and had a good first period and then they got a couple goals there that hurt us and we couldn't make it up."
The night was full of tributes to Cammalleri from the roar from the Saddledome crowd when he was announced in the starting lineup, to a video montage shown on the scoreboard during the first period. Another lengthy video showed him coming from the airport and meeting the Saddledome on Friday night.
However, it was a less than stellar first half of the game for Cammalleri, who was on the ice for both of the Kings' first two goals. He took a penalty early in the second, and made a couple giveaways.
However, he eventually got the Flames on the board late in the second, deflecting Anton Babchuk's shot past Jonathan Quick at 15:52.
NOTES: Paul Byron was scratched to make room in the lineup for Cammalleri. ... It was Brent Sutter's 210th game as Flames coach, equaling the number of games Darryl Sutter spend behind the Flames bench. ... Calgary will play 18 of its final 36 games against the Pacific Division. ... Los Angeles is 15-2-4 when scoring first. ... It was the Flames' first regulation time loss at home since Nov. 15 against Ottawa. Calgary had been 10-0-1 in its past 11 games at the Saddledome.