From his contributions on the scoresheet to his role in helping Milan Lucic turn his season around, Dillon Dube has made a big impact since being called up from the minors three weeks ago.
Much of that contribution was on display Saturday night as both Dube and Lucic each had a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames made it four straight victories with a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
With the Flames up 3-2 in the third period, Dube scored his third goal in nine games at 1:29, neatly burying a rebound off a Derek Ryan shot – the sequence beginning with Lucic’s outlet pass.
“It’s great to see when a young guy comes in and provides what he’s been providing, it sometimes re-energizes us older guys to play the way that we can,” said Lucic, whose second goal in as many games was his 200th of his career. “I talk about my game moving in the right direction since the Las Vegas game when he got called up and he’s been a huge part of me turning it around.”
Dube made the Flames out of training camp last season, but eventually spent most of the year in the minors. In 25 games with Calgary during the 2018-19 campaign, he only scored once.
“It’s a credit to (Lucic) and (Derek Ryan),” Dube said, about how well he’s fit in on that line this season. “When I came up to play with them, we all complement each other really well and it’s easy playing with them.”
Interim head coach Geoff Ward says Dube starting this season in the AHL was good for him, allowing him to learn and develop.
“He shows more confidence with the puck,” said Ward. “Last year he was trying to get rid of it right away which is a sign of a player that maybe isn’t ready to play at this level yet, but now he’s playing with the puck and allowing his skill to stand out.”
Zac Rinaldo and Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary (15-12-4). The Flames have points in six-straight games (5-0-1) and improve to a perfect 4-0-0 under Ward.
Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles (11-18-2). Matt Roy also scored. The Kings, who led 2-0 early on a pair of power play goals, are winless in their last 11 road games (0-10-1) dating back to Oct. 24.
“We’ve played very well with the lead. So after the first period, with that good start, we felt pretty comfortable in here, maybe too comfortable,” Doughty said. “We didn’t push enough in the second. Maybe sat back a little bit too much and we allowed them back in the game.”
Cam Talbot, making his first start since Nov. 17, overcame a shaky start to record 30 saves and break a four-game losing streak. The win is his first since Oct. 20 and improves his record to 2-5-0.
Jack Campbell had 26 stops for Los Angeles.
“From a team standpoint I think we did a lot of good things. Individually, if I give up four, it doesn’t matter what I did out there. It’s not good enough,” said Campbell, whose record falls to 4-6-1.
Monahan gave Calgary its first lead of the night at 11:46 of the second, finishing off a beautiful individual rush from Johnny Gaudreau, in which he started inside the face-off circle in his own end and beat four Kings players before dishing to Monahan from behind the Kings net.
Rinaldo’s first goal 3:01 into the second tied it, although his night would end early as he was ejected, along with Los Angeles’ Kyle Clifford, after they fought during a TV timeout late in the second period.
Precipitating the altercation was an incident behind the Kings’ net in which Rinaldo levelled Russian left winger Nikolai Prokhorkin with a hard hit that shook him up. There was no penalty on the play and Prohorkin returned for the third period.
“I knew I had to be accountable for that hit,” Rinaldo said. “But he asked me to go and I said Cliffie, they’re shovelling the ice, we can’t go right now. He said no, we have to go, we have to go.”