Flames 2, Kings 1

Fan favorite Craig Conroy earned a standing ovation for his

first goal of the season for the Calgary Flames.

Conroy broke a second-period tie with his timely goal, and

Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves for his 20th victory of the season

in the Flames’ 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday

night.

“That’s what makes it so special for me playing in Calgary,”

Conroy said. “If I’m walking into Wal-Mart or wherever I am,

they’re like: ‘You’re going to get one, don’t worry Connie.’ It’s a

special place for me.”

Rene Bourque opened the scoring for Calgary at 6:21 of the first

period, and Scott Parse tied it 15 seconds into the second. Bourque

then helped set up Conroy’s go-ahead goal at 2:48 of the second

period.

The 38-year-old Conroy scored into an empty net after Eric

Nystrom raced in and checked Kings goalie Erik Ersberg into the end

boards, knocking him off the puck, and Rene Bourque quickly passed

it out to Conroy.

“I just happened to be in the right spot – finally. I haven’t

felt like I’ve been in the right spot all year,” Conroy said.

“When it finally went in, seeing that red light was all I was

waiting for.”

Kiprusoff stopped Dustin Brown on a penalty shot in the

second.

The Flames (22-12-5) won consecutive games for the first time in

a month and snapped a three-game winless skid on home ice. The

Kings (22-15-3) have lost four games in a row for the first time

this season.

The game got off to a rousing start with Flames defenseman Dion

Phaneuf ejected 5e minutes into the first period after ramming

Kings scoring leader Anze Kopitar into the boards in the Calgary

end. Phaneuf was assessed a boarding major and game misconduct on

the play, which resulted in the 22-year-old Slovenian having his

helmet fly off as his head hit the dasher where the boards meets

the glass.

Kopitar remained down for a couple minutes before leaving the

ice under his own power. While the penalties from the ensuring

melee were being sorted out, coaches Brent Sutter of the Flames and

Terry Murray of the Kings got into it with a verbal exchange.

“That’s one of the dirtiest hits in the game,” Murray said.

“That’s been addressed at the league level and that’s why the

referee called a game misconduct.”

Sutter saw it differently.

“It’s a non-call. The icing was waved off, it’s a foot race for

the puck,” Sutter said.

Kopitar didn’t miss any shifts, and the Saddledome crowd soundly

booed him each time he touched the puck the rest of the game.

Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell was one of the first players to

jump into the scrum after the hit.

“It’s just a dirty play,” O’Donnell said. “We talk about the

players not having respect and why are there so many concussions.

He didn’t have to do that. He plays hard. He’s not the brightest

guy. He runs around a little bit.

NOTES: Kiprusoff is 20-10-5. … Ersberg finished with 19 saves.

… The Flames were 0 of 5 on the power play. They are 5 for 51 in

the past 12 games.