Markstrom reigns over Kings as Flames win 2-1
Los Angeles Kings forward Carl Grundstrom, centre, crashes into Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom, as forward Trevor Lewis hits the net during third period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
By Darren Haynes in Calgary
When the Calgary Flames needed it most, goaltender Jacob Markstrom stepped up and delivered his best performance of the season.
Markstrom was spectacular on Tuesday making 33 saves to backstop the Calgary Flames to a critical 2-1 victory over the red-hot Los Angeles Kings.
“He was sharp. Made some big stops. He probably stole us two points,” said Flames centre Elias Lindholm.
After rookie Walker Duehr gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 17:59 of the first period, it was left to Markstrom to make several key stops over the final 40-plus minutes to preserve the victory.
The Kings have been the NHL’s hottest team, entering the night on a franchise-record 12-game points streak (10-0-2) in which they outscored the opponent 52-28. Nineteen of those goals came in the last three games, all wins, including an 8-2 thumping of Calgary eight days ago in Los Angeles.
“Obviously, we’re not very happy about the last meeting against these guys and it’s still fresh in the memory. Today I thought we played a better game,” Markstrom said.
The veteran’s biggest stop came in the final minute of the first period, right after the go-ahead goal.
After two Flames got tangled up with one King outside the Calgary blue line, Kevin Fiala had nothing but time and space as he moved in from the centre line on a breakaway. As he skated in, he paused at the top of the crease before shooting with Markstrom kicking out his left pad to deny him.
“It was almost like a penalty shot or shootout,” said Lindholm. “I thought Marky stayed calm in there for a long time and read him pretty well.”
Markstom, who was starting for the 15th time in the last 16 games, said the key is to not think too much.
“Just wait him out because he wasn’t going very fast,” Markstrom said. “Wait to see what he was going to do and not bite on anything before that.”
He also had to be excellent in the second. Markstrom flashed out his glove to deny Adrian Kempe after he broke in alone. Two minutes later when the slot opened up for Matt Roy, Markstrom jabbed out his blocker to make another key stop.
Late in the third, again it was Fiala with a chance, this time set up by Mikey Anderson on a cross-ice feed, but Markstrom sprawled across with a highlight-reel save to again deny him.
“It gives a huge jump to the group, right?” said Duehr. “You see him bailing us out at times and he’s giving his best effort so we can only go out there and do the same for him.”
Andrew Mangiapane also scored for Calgary (34-26-15), which wins its second consecutive game and improves to 7-3-2 in their last dozen outings.
Combined with Winnipeg’s 3-0 loss in San Jose, the Flames have moved to within two points of the Jets, who occupy the final wild-card berth in the NHL’s Western Conference. Each team has seven games remaining including a head-to-head on April 5 at Canada Life Centre.
“It felt like a playoff game. We had our pushes, they had their pushes and I thought Marky stood on his head tonight and gave us a chance to win,” said Duehr, who continues to provide a spark since getting called up from the minors. He’s scored six goals in 21 games.
Sean Durzi had the lone goal for Los Angeles (43-21-10).
The Kings remain two points behind Vegas for first place in the Pacific Division. Edmonton is in third, just one point behind Los Angeles.
“I don’t think it was a lack of effort, certainly today. It was a hard-fought game, a physical game. For the most part we did a good job. Just obviously unfortunately we didn’t convert on a few of our chances,” said Kings captain Anze Kopitar.
Markstrom improves to 21-20-10.
In his sixth start in goal since being acquired by the Kings in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Joonas Korpisalo, tested 32 times, lost for the first time. He falls to 15-12-4 on the season.
“Both goaltenders were first and second star in whatever order you want to pick,” said Kings coach Todd McLellan. “They both played well. Korpi made some really good saves for us. He gave us a chance to have those good looks at the other end. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t reward him with at least one to get him a point.”
Momentum swung in the Kings favour halfway through the first when Rasmus Andersson’s goal, which would have made it 2-0, was waved off after an offside review. Less than two minutes later, Durzi picked the top corner to tie it.
Calgary also thought they scored in the second but upon video review, but upon video review, the call of no goal stood.
KINGS LINEUP SHUFFLE
Los Angeles made three lineup changes. Returning from a one-game suspension was Blake Lizotte. Not with the Kings to start this road trip after being injured last game was RW Gabe Vilardi (upper body). Arthur Kaliyev also drew in up front with Jaret Anderson-Dolan coming out. On the blue line, Alex Edler replaced Sean Walker.
PRIDE NIGHT AT SADDLEDOME
It was Pride Night at the Saddledome with all Flames wearing custom jerseys for warm-up that were designed by local artist Megan Parker. The Flaming C on the front and the numbers featured a pattern of flora and fauna from Alberta prairies arranged to reflect the rainbow-coloured pride flag.
Kings: Road trip continues Thursday against the Oilers.
Flames: Head to Vancouver to take on the Canucks on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2023.
A look at Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s new cabinet
Premier Danielle Smith introduced her cabinet Friday, the second one since taking over as United Conservative Party leader in October. Here are the changes at a glance:
Second in command: Mike Ellis retains his Public Safety and Emergency Services portfolio but is also now deputy premier.
Big promotions: Mickey Amery moves from Children’s Services to Justice; Nate Horner moves from Agriculture and Irrigation to Finance; Adriana LaGrange already had a heavyweight title in Education but now takes on enormous responsibilities in Health.
New faces: RJ Sigurdson joins cabinet for the first time in Agriculture and Irrigation; Searle Turton is new in Children and Family Services; Dan Williams gets his first cabinet seat in Mental Health and Addiction.
Returning vets: Jason Nixon, the environment minister and government house leader under former premier Jason Kenney, is back in cabinet handling the Seniors, Community and Social Services post. Ric McIver, dropped from Smith’s first cabinet, returns in his old job of Municipal Affairs. Muhammad Yaseen, a former associate minister of immigration, now has full cabinet rank as minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism; Tanya Fir, former economic development minster under Kenney, is back in Arts, Culture and Status of Women portfolio.
Same faces, new jobs: Rebecca Schulz (Environment and Protected Areas), Brian Jean (Energy and Minerals), Nathan Neudorf (Affordability and Utilities), Joseph Schow (Tourism and Sport), Demetrios Nicolaides (Education), Rajan Sawhney (Advanced Education), Matt Jones (Jobs, Economy and Trade), Peter Guthrie (Infrastructure).
Same faces, same jobs: Nate Glubish (Technology and Innovation), Dale Nally (Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction), Devin Dreeshen (Transportation and Economic Corridors), Todd Loewen (Forestry and Parks).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2023.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith shuffles familiar faces into new cabinet roles
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced her new cabinet Friday, shuffling familiar faces, tinkering with some titles, keeping former leadership rivals close while welcoming back two exiled political veterans.
Smith’s 25-member team – down from 27 in her first cabinet last fall – were sworn in during a ceremony at Government House.
“I am so pleased to have this team working with me to deliver on the promises we made to Albertans during the election,” Smith said in a news release.
“These are not just our government’s priorities, they are Albertans’ priorities. The next four years start today, and I can’t wait to get back to work with each of my cabinet colleagues.”
Nate Horner has been tapped to lead Finance, Mickey Amery takes over in Justice and Adriana LaGrange moves to Health from her old job in Education.
Brian Jean, Rajan Sawhney, Todd Loewen and Rebecca Schulz — all contenders in the United Conservative Party leadership — return to Smith’s cabinet table.
Jean will head up Energy and Minerals, Sawhney takes over Advanced Education and Schulz is to lead Environment and Protected Areas.
Loewen returns in the newly renamed Forestry and Parks job.
Smith lost a lot of cabinet experience when veteran ministers retired or were defeated in last month’s election. Two returning stalwarts, Jason Nixon and Ric McIver, were dropped from Smith’s original cabinet Oct. 24 but are back at the table.
Nixon is in charge of Seniors, Community and Social Services. He was the top lieutenant to former premier Jason Kenney, serving as government house leader and Environment minister. After Kenney quit and Smith took over, Nixon was still viewed in caucus as part of the discredited Kenney administration and was moved to the backbenches.
McIver, with a decade of experience in the legislature under multiple portfolios, is back in his old job of Municipal Affairs.
Other cabinet ministers are also back with big promotions.
Amery, with no cabinet experience until Smith appointed him Children’s Services minister last year, takes a big leap forward to Justice.
One of three lawyers in Smith’s 48-member caucus, Amery inherits a controversial portfolio. He is the fifth person to hold the job in the last four years under the UCP.
One former UCP justice minister, Kaycee Madu, was found to have tried to interfere in the administration of justice by calling up Edmonton’s police chief to complain about a traffic ticket.
Last month, the province’s ethics commissioner concluded Smith sought to undermine the rule of law by pressuring Amery’s predecessor, Tyler Shandro, to drop a criminal case against a protester at a U.S. border blockade.
LaGrange’s Health job is viewed as critical, as Smith pledged to reduce wait times for emergency care and surgeries and to make changes to ensure more Albertans can see a family doctor.
Horner, who earned plaudits for his work in Agriculture and Irrigation, will have to navigate keeping Alberta’s books balanced while also finding money to pay for a $1-billion-a-year tax reduction pledge promised by Smith.
Demetrios Nicolaides effectively switches classrooms, moving from Advanced Education to Education.
Matt Jones moves from Affordability and Utilities to the new Jobs, Economy and Trade.
Rick Wilson returns as Indigenous Relations minister. With Nicolaides and LaGrange switching portfolios, he is the only minister named in Kenney’s original 2019 cabinet to be in the same job four years later.
Mike Ellis has emerged as a key lieutenant to Smith. The former Calgary police officer returns in the Public Safety and Emergency Services portfolio but is also her deputy premier. He is expected to play a pivotal role in Smith’s promised legislation to force addicts into treatment as a last resort.
Devin Dreeshen stays in place as minister for Transportation and Economic Corridors.
Calgary member Tanya Fir’s roller-coaster political career is back on the upswing, heading to the newly renamed Arts, Culture and Status of Women ministry.
Fir was part of the Kenney’s original cabinet as Economic Development minister, but was dropped from cabinet, brought back in as a Jobs minister only to be dropped by Smith in October.
The Status of Women portfolio is also back on the rise after falling from a cabinet portfolio to an associate ministry under Kenney, then out of cabinet altogether under Smith.
Smith has said because the NDP took all 20 Edmonton seats in the election, she will rely more on cabinet ministers Nate Glubish, Dale Nally and Searle Turton, who represent constituencies near the capital.
Glubish remains in Technology and Innovation and Nally stays as minister for Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction.
Turton, a second-term member, gets his first cabinet job in the renamed Children and Family Services ministry.
Nathan Neudorf is no longer deputy premier or Infrastructure minister, taking over Affordability and Utilities.
Peter Guthrie moves from Energy to Infrastructure.
Joseph Schow returns as government house leader and as minister for the new Tourism and Sport position.
Calgary backbencher Muhammad Yaseen, previously an associate immigration minister under Kenney, attains full cabinet rank as minister for Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Dan Williams, a second-term MLA, gets his first shot in cabinet with Mental Health and Addiction.
RJ Sigurdson gets his first cabinet assignment, taking over from Horner in Agriculture and Irrigation.
The job titles remain the same for the most part with some slight revisions. Loewen, for example, loses the Tourism responsibility from his old job.
The Jobs, Economy and Northern Development portfolio has dropped Northern Development and will add in Trade responsibilities instead.
The Seniors title, dropped last fall by Smith, returns in Nixon’s new job.
The Skilled Trades and Professions portfolio has been dropped all together.
There is still no dedicated Labour ministry.
The government is set to return to the house in October and faces a large 38-member Opposition NDP that, along with sweeping Edmonton, took a big bite out of UCP support in Calgary.
The NDP now represents more than half the seats in Calgary.
Smith’s caucus will also be further reduced.
While the UCP won 49 seats in the election, Smith said newly elected Lacombe-Ponoka member Jennifer Johnson is not welcome in caucus given her public comments late last year comparing transgender students to feces in cookie dough. Johnson will sit as an Independent.
UCP member Nathan Cooper is expected to return as Speaker, meaning Smith’s team will have an even slimmer majority in the 87-seat legislature.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2023.
Tour the 2023 Red Deer Hospital Home Lottery grand prize dream home
Hundreds of thousands march in Poland anti-government protests to show support for democracy
Saskatchewan landowners fight against illegal drainage washing out land, roads
Premiers need to keep talking about the health-care crisis: medical associations
Poilievre threatens to filibuster budget bill if Liberals don’t meet demands
GM to invest more than $1 billion in two Flint, Mich., plants
City official says Calgary Flames arena deal to include a 35-year commitment to stay
Health1 day ago
WHO’s Global Digital Health Certification Network
Alberta2 days ago
Lawyer tells Alberta’s highest court review board biased in de Grood’s case
Top Story CP2 days ago
Gauld nets winner as Whitecaps beat CF Montreal to claim Canadian Championship
National1 day ago
Trans, non-binary students under 16 in N.B. need parental consent for pronoun changes
Top Story CP2 days ago
American Roger Reeves wins Griffin Poetry Prize for ‘Best Barbarian’
Business1 day ago
Liberal budget bill passes in House of Commons after Conservative filibuster attempt
Alberta2 days ago
Canada under pressure to produce more food, protect agricultural land: report
National1 day ago
‘Unmitigated gall’: Senator rejects minister’s call to pass Liberal guns bill quickly