LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Very little has gone wrong for red-hot Ben Scrivens since he took over as the Los Angeles Kings goaltender three weeks ago but he would like to forget Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames as soon as possible.
Though Scrivens is joint top in the league’s goalie standings with a .944 save percentage and three shutouts, he suffered two bad moments in front of a sellout crowd at Staples Center as the Kings lost 2-1 to the Calgary Flames.
Late in the second period, Scrivens fell while chasing a puck to his left and Calgary center Blair Jones took full advantage, scoring with a wrist shot for a short-handed goal during a five-minute penalty kill to put his team 1-0 up.
After Kings right winger Justin Williams had tied things up in the third, the Flames clinched victory with just 23 seconds to go when left wing Mike Cammalleri beat Scrivens with a backhand shot from the edge of the crease.
“We left it too late and unfortunately I couldn’t come up with a save at the end there,” a chastened Scrivens told reporters after saving 18 of 20 shots while watched by more than 18,000 fans, including Hollywood actor Tom Hanks.
Asked to explain his embarrassing spill that allowed the Flames to open the scoring, Scrivens replied: ”That stuff happens. It’s a game on ice.
”I got an edge and they were fortunate enough to capitalize on it. I was trying to get out there, play pucks and help the D (defensemen ) men out.
“That was my plan going out and (I) had an unfortunate break to catch an edge. Ninety percent of the time that doesn’t really do anything but this time it unfortunately might have cost us the game.”
The Kings are back in action on Monday, at home to the St. Louis Blues, and Scrivens was confident he and his team mates would be able to rebound from Saturday’s defeat.
”The same way we park good games and good wins,“ the 27-year-old said after his record for this season had slipped to 6-2-4. ”It’s a new game every time and it’s hard to win in this league.
“We will take what we can from this game. It’s a brand new 60 minutes and now St. Louis is here so we got to start getting focused for it. We’re going to park it (Saturday’s defeat) pretty quickly here.”
Scrivens, whose academic credentials have earned him the nickname of “Professor” among his team mates, readily admits that he is continually honing his skills as a goalie while making mental and technical adjustments as needed.
“I’ve never been one to claim I know everything about goaltending,” said the Canadian, who was acquired by the Kings from the Toronto Maple Leafs in June with winger Matt Frattin and a draft pick for backup goalie Jonathan Bernier.
”You can always learn stuff from new guys. The game’s always evolving, and the position’s got to evolve along with it. You’ve also got to be true to yourself.
“You have your own reads and your own thoughts and successes you’ve had throughout your career. Those are things you always sort of have in the back of your mind, the positive reinforcement you’ve had coming up.”
Scrivens, who graduated from Cornell in 2010 with a degree in hotel management, has for the most part been a revelation for the Kings since he took over as their starting goaltender from the injured Jonathan Quick.
“I think of it as an opportunity,” said Scrivens.
Quick sustained a groin injury, which could take up to six weeks to heal, with 1:20 left in overtime against the Buffalo Sabres on November 12.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Gene Cherry