LOS ANGELES — Captain Dustin Brown scored two goals, Jonathan Quick made 23 saves and the surging Los Angeles Kings beat Calgary 3-1 on Monday night for their second win over the Flames in three days.
Brown and Jarret Stoll scored first-period goals before Brown added an empty-netter for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who moved up to third place in the Western Conference with their 11th win in 14 games.
Despite a rough third period dominated by Calgary, the champs finished their five-game homestand with four victories. With steadily improving play after a rough start to the season, Los Angeles trails only Chicago and Anaheim in the West race.
Mikael Backlund ruined Quick’s shutout bid with 5:22 to play for last-place Calgary, which has lost six straight on the road.
Joey MacDonald stopped 19 shots for the Flames, who got outscored 13-3 while losing all three games of their Southern California road trip, including a 4-0 blanking by Anaheim last week. Los Angeles routed Calgary 6-2 on Saturday, chasing Miikka Kiprusoff in the process.
With this victory, Los Angeles swept its season series with Calgary for just the second time in franchise history and the first time in 13 years.
The Kings didn’t even need a goal from Jeff Carter to wrap up their eighth home victory in nine games. The power forward had scored 13 of his 17 goals in his last 13 games, putting him in a second-place tie in the Richard Trophy race.
After Saturday’s loss by Calgary and Sunday’s wins by Colorado, Columbus and Edmonton, the Flames began the week in 15th place in the West.
Brown swiftly put the Kings ahead in the rematch by sneaking behind Jay Bouwmeester and tucking home a sharp cross-ice pass from Slava Voynov for his seventh goal of the season. Moving the puck swiftly and easily, Los Angeles doubled its lead four minutes later when Jake Muzzin found Stoll in the slot for a shot that dislodged the water bottle from the back of MacDonald’s net. Muzzin, a rookie defenceman, had assists on both first-period goals, giving him 10 points this season — the same number as Drew Doughty, Los Angeles’ $56-million former Norris Trophy finalist and playoff hero. Muzzin also has five goals — five more than Doughty, and tops among NHL rookie defencemen — and a plus-11 rating in his breakout season, finally getting his NHL chance due partly to the injury absences of Matt Greene.
After a scoreless second period, the Kings killed off a 27-second two-man disadvantage early in the third. Calgary kept dominating play, and Backlund finally capitalized when he broke in on net and beat Quick low for his fourth goal of the season.
NOTES: Kings C Tyler Toffoli was a healthy scratch, delaying his NHL debut. The high-scoring 20-year-old prospect was recalled Sunday from the AHL. … Calgary D Cory Sarich, a healthy scratch in nine consecutive games, returned to the lineup in place of Derek Smith. Flames LW Curtis Glencross missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.