Kings Coach Darryl Sutter had a successful homecoming Saturday night in… (Larry MacDougal / Associated…)
Reporting from Calgary, Canada — Darryl Sutter 1, Brent Sutter 0.
That would be the Sutter Family result on Saturday night after the brothers met for the first time as opposing coaches in the NHL.
The Kings were briskly efficient, putting a strong hold on the game by scoring three times in a 15-minute stretch in the second period on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
That gift-wrapped a successful homecoming for new Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, who had about an eight-year run in Calgary, first as coach and then as general manager.
The game was largely devoid of sentiment until afterward. Kings center Jarret Stoll grabbed the game puck for Sutter and gave it to him in the dressing room. It clearly meant a lot to Sutter and his eyes welled a bit with emotion when he spoke to the media.
He had plans for the memorable puck.
"I've got to give it to Chris," he said, of his youngest son, who was in attendance. "I just can't find him."
Darryl had coached against brothers Brian and Duane in 31 games but this was the first time he had coached against Brent. Brent happened to be the final coaching hire Sutter made when he was the Flames GM.
"Non-factor to me," Darryl Sutter said of keeping family score. "It's interesting that you guys keep talking about it. Our concept is about team-first stuff. That stuff really doesn't mean much to me We play tomorrow, that was the first thing I said."
But the Kings knew it was no ordinary game in January.
"Oh yeah. He was pretty intense all day, more so than usual," Dustin Penner said.
"I think you can tell. I've known him for a couple of weeks now. The way he spoke and what he said. You could tell it meant a lot to him. And we were happy to get it for him."
Said the Kings' Anze Kopitar, who scored on the power play in the second period: "If anything he was a little bit more focused and wanted to win it a little more tonight. I don't know if you can get more intense than him.
"The guys liked it. It's definitely changed from Terry [Murray] before. Right now it seems we've been doing pretty well under him."
Darryl Sutter offered a glimpse of his feelings, saying: "It's a great building to be in. What more do you want? It's what it's about. A kid from Alberta. Hockey Night in Canada. Alberta building. Pretty awesome."
"Once the game starts, you don't get caught up in who the other coach is," said the Flames' Brent Sutter, "because you're so focused on your own team and how you play. You guys [media] make more of it than Darryl or I do. His job is to coach the L.A. Kings. My job is to coach the Calgary Flames — and I'm disappointed we lost the hockey game.
"Absolutely, when he's with the opposition, you want to beat him. No different than him wanting to beat us. That's just the competitive nature in us; and the way we are. And it's always been that way with us."
For the Kings, Mike Richards scored once and added an assist, defenseman Matt Greene scored his third goal of the season, a career high, and Kopitar's goal was their fourth power-play goal in the last two games. Dustin Brown added an empty-netter with 57 seconds left.
"They were better than us tonight," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who spent the second half of the game playing with Cammalleri, a new-old linemate. Cammalleri, the ex-King, was reacquired by Calgary Thursday in a trade for Rene Bourque. He scored in his second Calgary debut.
That cut the Kings' lead to 3-1 late in the second period.
"I really liked our first period," Cammalleri said. "I thought we were really on our toes, pushing the play. Then they were able to get a few goals, and it was one of those nights where we were trying to push back, but we weren't able to create enough to make it a dangerous-enough comeback. We weren't as good as we needed to be."