Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan held a players meeting Thursday morning, asking his team to not panic when they fall behind in games.
On Thursday night, they got a chance to practise what he preached and they passed the test with flying colours.
Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland had a goal and an assist each and Johnny Gaudreau chipped in two assists as the Flames scored four times in the second period for a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
“We just had a meeting this morning about squeezing a little bit when we get down,” said Gulutzan. “We generate chances as a top-five team in this league and yet, we squeeze if we’re down 1-0, especially at home.”
After giving up a goal less than five minutes in and then allowing another with 45 seconds left in the first, Calgary bounced back with one of its best periods of the season, outscoring the visitors 4-0 and outshooting them 17-5.
“One thing we’re trying to work on is pick ourselves up after we get scored on and push,” said Troy Brouwer, who scored the tying goal at 7:34. “Once we came out for the second period, I thought we had a lot of good jump, a lot of good chatter in here about being better, doing the right things.”
The go-ahead goal at 14:07 was an unassisted effort by Mark Jankowski. Rookie defenceman Kurtis MacDermid had Alec Martinez’s pass around the endboards deflect off him and into the slot where Jankowski’s first shot was stopped, but he bunted in the rebound.
Monahan capped the explosive period on a wrist shot at 19:15.
“We started to press and when we get the momentum in games, we stay with it and line after line keeps rolling. That’s when pucks usually go in,” said Monahan, who has goals in consecutive games after going goalless in nine.
Calgary (20-16-4) has won back-to-back games at the Saddledome to get back to the .500 mark on home ice at 11-11-0. The Flames host Anaheim on Saturday.
Tanner Pearson with a pair, including one with 1:31 left in the third to make it close, led the scoring for Los Angeles (24-12-5). Derek Forbort, with his first goal in 94 games, also scored.
“Our second period was godawful,” said Kings captain Anze Kopitar. “We didn’t make any plays. We left [Jonathan Quick] hanging. There weren’t a whole lot of puck battles that we won. You can’t expect to play like that and not give up any goals and they cashed in on it.”
The Kings return home having picked up four out of six points on their road trip through Western Canada.
“We were really good for 10 [minutes] and the next 30 we were really bad,” said Kings coach John Stevens. “You’re not going to win on the road against a good team with a goalie, half your D and half your forwards. That’s what happened tonight.”
Earning the victory with 28 saves was Mike Smith. His biggest stop came two minutes into the second when he stabbed out his glove to rob Forbort on a dangerous chance from the slot that could have put the Kings ahead 3-0.
Ferland’s goal came less than a minute later.
“We let our foot off the gas pedal and they definitely took over,” said Pearson. “We got away from our game and we let them play theirs. We turned pucks over and they’re a quick-strike team.”
Quick finished with 37 saves for the Kings.