Flames top Kings on night of firsts
It was a night of firsts at the Staples Center on Tuesday.
David Moss and Richie Regehr scored their first NHL goals as the Calgary Flames vaulted into first place in the NHL Northwest Division with a 5-3 victory over the host Los Angeles Kings.
Not to be outdone, fellow rookie Dustin Boyd notched his first NHL point with an assist on Moss's milestone marker.
"We got a lot of juice out of our young players," Flames rookie head coach Jim Playfair said.
Tony Amonte, Chuck Kobasew and Daymond Langkow had a goal and an assist apiece for the Flames (17-12-3), who sit one point up on the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota in the division standings.
The Vancouver Canucks trail Calgary by two points.
Kristian Huselius rounded out the scoring for the Flames with a breakaway goal in the third period, while Jarome Iginla added two assists.
Seldom-used Jamie McLennan made 27 saves for his first win this season.
"As a group, we did an unbelievable job banding together," he said. "We knew who was out of the lineup and the guys knew I was making my third start of the season — it was a total team effort."
Rookie Anze Kopitar paced the Kings (12-18-5) with two goals and one assist.
Dustin Brown's power-play goal capped the scoring with 3:03 remaining.
Calgary opened the scoring 1:24 into the contest when Amonte caught Dan Cloutier off guard with a seemingly harmless slapshot from outside the blue-line.
"I was just trying to get the puck on the net," Amonte said. "We were trying to get more pucks on the net from everywhere.
"We have talked about it as a team. Those kind of goals don't go in very often, but I'll take it."
"It was not a good way to start the game," Cloutier said. "We had a few, crucial mistakes and the puck was at the back of the net."
It was the seventh goal of the season for Amonte, who was filling in for injured Alex Tanguay (charley horse) on the top line with Iginla and Langkow.
"I've played with those guys before," Amonte said. "So this is a good opportunity for me.
"Playing on an offensive line, creating some offence and trying to get some points. It's a little bit different role than the one I've played for this club most of this season."
Regehr nets first in first
Regehr made it 2-0 at 4:10 of the first period with his first NHL goal in 19 career appearances, including five this season.
As Kobasew jostled in front with Kings defenceman Aaron Miller, Regehr fired a screen shot by Cloutier for a power-play goal.
Regehr's older brother, Robyn, also plays defence for the Flames.
After Kopitar halved the deficit 36 seconds into the second period, Langkow restored Calgary's two-goal bulge by notching his 12th at the 10:10 mark.
But Kopitar answered back with his second goal of the game and 10th overall, converting Jeff Cowan's pass from behind the net at 14:24.
"Kopitar has got a lot of poise with the puck and really is patient," Amonte said. "He has got size and was pretty dominant."
Moss later celebrated his NHL debut with a goal, re-directing Boyd's centring pass to put the Flames ahead 4-1 with 2:44 left in the period.
"There's always some apprehension when you get that many young players out there all at the same time," Playfair said. "But I think it really worked to our advantage."
"It's a tribute to the organization that we've got really good depth," McLennan said. "It's nice for guys to come up here and get a taste of it and have success early."
With files from the Canadian Press