LOS ANGELES (AP)—When Ian Laperriere saw the red light go on behind the Calgary net, he threw his head back and smiled broadly.
Laperriere ended his 29-game drought during a three-goal first period by the Los Angeles Kings, then added an empty-netter to seal Tuesday night’s 4-1 victory over the Flames.
“When you go that long without a goal, you feel the pressure. I’m not known as a goal scorer, but sometimes I can put the puck in the net,” said Laperriere, who has 70 goals in 630 NHL games—including a hat trick against Boston in October 2000.
“It’s a lot of fun to score goals. I don’t care if you’re a grinder, a fighter or what. It’s just fun to help the team like that, and I was missing that,” Laperriere said. “I could have more than two. Sean Avery and Eric Belanger made some unbelievable plays out there, and I could have buried a couple more. But I won’t get too greedy.”
Derek Armstrong had a goal and an assist, Joe Corvo added his third of the season and Trent Klatt had two assists for the Kings, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 4-6 after going 14 straight without a victory.
“We’re a hardworking team, and we have to put our hard hats on and play the same way every night,” Armstrong said. “We’re not going to score many pretty goals without all those guys we have injured, because they’re hard to replace.”
The Kings opened the scoring 4:13 in during a delayed penalty. Luc Robitaille poked the puck toward the crease after getting dumped by Andrew Ference, and Armstrong whipped his eighth goal past Roman Turek.
“The goals they scored in the first period were all soft goals,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “Ference gets beat by Luc cleanly one-on-one. All he has to do is look at him in the chest squarely and separate him (from the puck). Ference has been a borderline competitor for us for a number of games.”
Laperriere, playing his eighth game after missing the previous 19 due to a concussion, made it 2-0 at 7:14 of the first. He banked the puck in off Calgary defenseman Jordan Leopold from a sharp angle to the right, after Robyn Regehr checked Kings forward Sean Avery into Turek.
Sutter then replaced Turek with Jamie McLennan, but Turek was back in less than three minutes later.
Corvo gave Los Angeles a three-goal cushion at 15:25 of the period—just 13 seconds after the Kings killed off a penalty.
McAmmond scored 52 seconds into the second period on a 50-foot shot from the slot during a power play that carried over from the opening period. The goal was set up by Craig Conroy, who had a career-high four assists Monday against Anaheim.
“It was a real cheap shot. That should have been a five-minute major— minimum,” Murray said. “I don’t like calling out players on other teams for cheap shots, but there was no need for that. The guy took a pretty good run at him.
“The referees have to step up and make the call on that play. The league’s got to do a better job of protecting the players. You’ve got to send a message that that’s not allowed. And certainly, we’ve felt the pain of that all year here.”
Flames forward Kryzsztof Oliwa, who received a match penalty Monday for attempting to injure Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with an elbow to the head, didn’t play against the Kings. But there was no word whether the NHL had suspended him.
Oliwa was suspended for two games in November after cross-checking Montreal’s Darren Langdon in the face. Last season with the New York Rangers, Oliwa received a five-game suspension for cross-checking Columbus’ GrantMarshall at the end of a game.
Flames captain and leading scorer Jarome Iginla returned to the lineup after missing one game with a sprained left ankle. … Kings D Mattias Norstrom recorded his 100th NHL assist on Laperriere’s goal. … This was the 16th time the Flames played back-to-back games in Los Angeles and Anaheim. The only time they swept both was in February 1994. … Cechmanek stopped Conroy on a breakaway at 5:28 of the second period. … The Flames were 7-2-1 in their previous 10 road games, and 6-1-1 in their previous eight meetings with theKings.