LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jon Gillies made 27 saves in his first career start, and Dennis Wideman, Freddie Hamilton and Alex Chiasson scored second-period goals as the Calgary Flames defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Thursday night.
Gillies had been called up on an emergency basis from the club’s AHL affiliate in Stockton, California, after backup Chad Johnson suffered a lower-body injury against Anaheim on Tuesday. The 23-year-old Gillies responded by helping Calgary inch closer to clinching the first wild card in the Western Conference.
The Flames will assure themselves a first-round matchup against the top team in the Pacific Division with a win against San Jose or a Nashville loss at Winnipeg on Saturday.
Sam Bennett added a power-play goal and the Flames claimed the season series against the Kings.
Trevor Lewis scored and Ben Bishop made 20 saves for Los Angeles.
The Flames were able to convert a successful penalty kill into their second goal early in the second. Wideman put the puck right between Bishop’s legs for a 2-1 lead just after exiting the penalty box on a roughing call, thanks to Micheal Ferland’s alert long pass to start the successful breakaway.
Wideman had been scratched for Calgary’s previous 10 games, but delivered his fifth goal in his return.
Hamilton then scored on a backhand wraparound, followed by Chiasson tipping TJ Brodie’s slap shot and redirecting past Bishop to make it 4-1.
Bennett unleashed a wicked one-timer from the slot off Mikael Backlund’s pass to put the Flames ahead 1-0 4:57 into the first. It was Bennett’s 13th goal and fourth on the power play.
But Lewis was able to cancel it out 1:16 later, beating Gillies with a simple shot that sailed past the untested goalie’s right. Lewis scored for the second straight game and third time in his last five outings.
NOTES: Bishop lost for the fifth time in seven starts (2-3-2) since being acquired from Tampa Bay. … Flames RW Kris Versteeg had a point for the fourth consecutive game. … After combining for 19 penalties and 74 penalty minutes in their last meeting on March 29, the Flames and Kings were whistled just five times. … Calgary scratched C Matt Stajan, sitting him after playing in the first 80 games this season.
Flames: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday to close out the regular season.
Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in their home finale.
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