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After one at Staples: Kings 1, Calgary 0

December 9, 2010 |  8:37 pm

Both goaltenders were exceptionally sharp in the first period, which ended with the Kings holding a 1-0 lead.

The Kings survived a mild scare at 6:20, when an apparent goal by the Flames was waved off after league officials watching in Toronto determined that Calgary’s Matt Stajan had made a “kicking motion” to propel the puck into the net. The referee had called it a good goal but his ruling was overturned following video replays from angles that were not available on local TV or in Staples Center.

That explanation was provided by Kris King, a vice president of hockey operations for the NHL and one of the people who watches games in the “war room” at the league’s Toronto office. The play was preceded by a mad scramble in front of the net in which Jonathan Quick made a remarkable save on Jarome Iginla.

The Kings scored an indisputable goal at 12:08. Wayne Simmonds, who has had a quiet season offensively, made a good play to steal the puck in Calgary’s zone. He skated deep on the left side until he was below the faceoff circle and then threw the puck in front for a redirection by Kyle Clifford, the first NHL goal for the rookie winger. Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff had no chance.

Clifford later got into a fight with Calgary’s Tim Jackman and was given a five-minute fighting penalty. That left him only an assist short of a so-called “Gordie Howe hat trick,” which consists of a goal, an assist and a penalty and is a tribute to Howe’s ruggedness and talent.

The Kings had an 11-8 edge in shots in the first period.

More later at
Helene Elliott