Carter scores in OT, Kings beat Flames 5-4
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Jeff Carter took a bit of a gamble and it paid off for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
Carter scored 40 seconds into overtime after Kris Versteeg tied it with 35.1 seconds left in the third period to help Los Angeles beat the Calgary Flames 5-4.
Carter stole the puck from Flames forward Sean Monahan at the Calgary blue line and then skated the length of the ice before tucking a shot through goalie Joni Ortio's legs.
''I think he fumbled the puck and I just jumped on it,'' said Carter, whose Kings will finish out the season with games at home against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday and the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
''It's one of those plays where I made a read and either it's going to work out or they're going back 3-on-2 on our net. Luckily it did. Not our greatest game, but this time of year we'll take two points and a win and go back home and try to finish out the season strong.''
Milan Lucic had two goals for the Kings, and Andy Andreoff also scored. Anze Kopitar had two assists and Jhonas Enroth made 19 saves.
Los Angeles tied a franchise record with its 46th victory this season.
''You get 47 wins in a year and your goal going into the year is to try and get 100 points and we're that close,'' coach Darryl Sutter said. ''That's pretty good for a team that didn't make the playoffs last year.''
Defensemen Deryk Engelland and Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist each for the Flames, while Mikael Backlund and Hunter Shinkaruk also scored. Johnny Gaudreau had two assists and Joni Ortio made 21 saves.
''The first 10 minutes I think was a little bit in their favor,'' Engelland said. ''Once the 10-minute mark came I think we started pushing back. From that point on I think we had a pretty solid game overall. To come up with a loss is a little bit of a heartbreaker.''
Engelland put Calgary ahead with 4:01 left with a shot to Enroth's short side, but then Versteeg got a fluke goal. Ortio stopped Versteeg's initial shot before he accidentally put it into his own net with the knob of his stick.
Backlund gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at 3:41 of the first period when his pass from behind the goal line banked into the net off Kopitar's skate. Enroth attempted to play the puck behind his net, but he missed it and it went right to Backlund, who was attempting to pass the puck out front to Lance Bouma.
The Kings outshot the Flames 12-4 in the first period and drew even at 9:53 when Lucic scored. Although Flames defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka knocked the puck off Kopitar's stick, it went right to Lucic, who quickly snapped a shot past Ortio.
Lucic then put the Kings up 2-1 just 14 seconds into the second period when he swatted a rebound past Ortio, who initially stopped a booming shot from the point by Drew Doughty.
The Flames outshot the Kings 12-4 in the second and were rewarded when Shinkaruk scored his second NHL goal and his first at the Saddledome in front of his hometown fans. After Enroth stopped a shot from the slot by Giordano, the puck bounced right to Shinkaruk for an easy tap-in goal.
''It was very cool,'' Shinkaruk said. ''I watched a lot of games growing up in Calgary. To be out there was pretty neat. At the end of the day, the most important thing is getting the win and we didn't get that. It's going to kind of sting.''
After Shinkaruk drew a hooking penalty on Luke Schenn, the Flames nearly took a 3-2 lead late in the second, but Sean Monahan's shot hit the crossbar as time expired in the period.
Still on the power play, the Flames took a 3-2 lead just 33 seconds into the third when Giordano's point shot through traffic beat Enroth low to the stick side. The Kings answered right back only 33 seconds later when Andreoff backhanded a shot past Ortio.
NOTES: Kopitar recorded at least one point in all four games L.A. played against Calgary this season. Kopitar scored once and had five assists as the Kings swept the season series against the Flames. ... Giordano's goal was his 21st of the season. That's the most by a Calgary defenseman since Al MacInnis recorded 28 in 1993-94.