LOS ANGELES (AP) — At first glance, Dennis Wideman thought his overtime shot beat Jonathan Quick. By the time he got to the Flames’ bench, the defenseman decided he was mistaken.
Wideman was thrilled to learn his first instinct had been correct and Calgary had just roared past the defending Stanley Cup champions in the standings.
Wideman scored 4:08 into overtime, and the Flames rallied past Los Angeles for their fourth straight victory, 2-1 Monday night.
Wideman’s goal wasn’t confirmed until video review confirmed his shot had ricocheted off the camera inside the net, putting an appropriately tense ending on a defense-dominated game.
“I thought it was in, and I waved my arms,” Wideman said. “Then they waved it off, and I didn’t think that anymore.”
Wideman saw a replay on the scoreboard that appeared to show the puck hitting the crossbar, but the Flames’ video replay assistant yelled the good news to the bench.
“Usually the shooter has the best view,” Calgary coach Bob Hartley said with a grin. “I always look at the one who shoots the puck, but he got to the bench and said, ‘No, it wasn’t a goal.'”
In a game with scarce offensive chances for either side, Calgary capitalized on two big late opportunities to remain unbeaten four games into its five-game Pacific Division road trip. Sean Monahan tied it with 6:05 left in regulation for the Flames, who have asserted themselves in the playoff race ever since their newest goalie stepped in.
Joni Ortio stopped 33 shots in his fourth straight win as Calgary moved past Los Angeles into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Calgary got another strong effort from the Finnish rookie who has yielded just five goals in four games since stepping in for Karri Ramo.
“They’ve been on a tough stretch here, so we knew they were going to come out hard,” Ortio said of the Kings. “They got that one in the third, a little bit of a lucky goal … but I felt good throughout the (game). I don’t think they had that many quality chances. We kept them on the outside.”
Matt Greene scored midway through the third period and Quick made 22 saves for the Kings, who wrapped up their seven-game homestand with a dismal 1-2-4 record and dropped out of the playoff picture.
“The fact of the matter is that we need points, especially against teams like that,” captain Dustin Brown said. “It’s a four-point game. It doesn’t matter how good we’re playing or how bad we’re playing. We need to find a way to win games.”
Los Angeles also dropped to an NHL-worst 2-12 in overtime and shootout games, losing the last eight straight. The Kings have won just once since New Year’s Day.
“We’re just not doing a really good job in overtime, when things really count,” Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said. “Whether it’s 4-on-4, giving up chances or having too many turnovers and helping the other team go the other way, we’re just not doing a good job in the overtime.”
After 2 1/2 scoreless periods dominated by goaltending and missed opportunities, Greene scored on a long, screened shot after Trevor Lewis and Brown loosed the puck from the boards. The goal was the third of the year for Greene, a defense-first blueliner who has never scored more than four goals in an NHL season.
But the Flames evened it when Alec Martinez turned over the puck at the blue line and gave up a breakaway to Monahan, who beat Quick for his 14th goal.
Los Angeles dominated possession and shots during the first 40 penalty-plagued minutes, but failed to convert on its three power plays in the second period. Calgary did nothing with its own advantages, including a 4-minute power play spanning the first intermission, and played more than 13 consecutive minutes in the second period without recording a shot on Quick.
NOTES: Kings C Nick Shore played his second NHL game, but his older brother, Drew, was a scratch for the Flames. … Regehr returned from a 12-game absence since Dec. 18 with a hand injury. Los Angeles put backup G Martin Jones on injured reserve with an undisclosed problem. … Calgary F Curtis Glencross went on injured reserve. … Kings F Tyler Toffoli missed his fifth straight game with mononucleosis. … The Flames finish their trip Wednesday at NHL-leading Anaheim.
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