The Calgary Flames showed some resilience to remain unbeaten on their road trip and next face a slumping team they’ve enjoyed some success against.
Seeking a fourth straight victory, the Flames look to extend their longest road winning streak in six years Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
Calgary (24-18-3) recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead Saturday and topped San Jose 4-3 in overtime, improving to 3-0-0 on a five-game trek and earning a fourth consecutive road victory. Jiri Hudler scored the tying goal in the second period and Sean Monahan netted his fourth overtime winner in his 31st career game that went past regulation.
"It’s big obviously," Monahan said. "At the end of the day, we’ve got to find ways to beat those kind of teams to make the playoffs."
The Flames’ road winning streak – their longest since a six-game run Feb. 12-March 5, 2009 – started with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Kings (20-14-11) on Dec. 22. Johnny Gaudreau’s first career hat trick rallied Calgary from a three-goal deficit while Mark Giordano finished off the team’s third straight win in Los Angeles.
The Flames, who also earned a 2-1 home win over the Kings a week later for their third straight win in the series, moved just ahead of Los Angeles in the playoff race with their latest victory coupled with the Kings’ 3-2 shootout defeat to Anaheim on Saturday.
The teams each have 51 points but Calgary owns 21 non-shootout victories, two more than its Pacific Division rivals.
Los Angeles’ defeat dropped it to 2-3-4 in its last nine and 1-2-3 on a season-high seven-game homestand that ends Monday. The Kings have also lost their past seven shootouts, easily their longest stretch of futility in that format in franchise history.
"We’ve got to do something to win these shootout games," forward Marian Gaborik said. "We have enough talent here. We just have to find a way to bear down and get some goals. It’s not early in the season. We’re past half, so we just have to find a way."
The Kings have also struggled on special teams, especially at killing penalties. They’ve allowed eight goals on 19 times short-handed in the last seven games and have gone 3 for 22 on the power play on the homestand.
Calgary has succeeded lately despite going 4 for 49 with a man advantage in its last 15 games. The Flames have allowed an average of 2.22 goals in their last nine contests while the Kings have given up 3.67 per game on their homestand.
Hudler, who ended a season-high 10-game goal drought Saturday, hasn’t scored one in his last nine matchups with Los Angeles but has five assists in his past three.
The Kings’ Anze Kopitar has three goals and seven assists in his last 11 games against Calgary, and he’s been one of the league’s most prolific point producers since Dec. 15, totaling five goals and 17 assists in 14 games.