The Calgary Flames snapped a three-game losing streak with a
strong effort in their most recent game, and now the Los Angeles
Kings hope it’s their turn to do the same.
After three frustrating one-goal defeats, the Kings look to
avoid their first four-game skid of the season Wednesday night at
Calgary, where they haven’t won in more than four years.
The Flames were struggling through a 1-4-2 stretch going into
Monday night’s game at Edmonton, and things didn’t appear to be
improving when they fell behind 2:02 into the game and were outshot
16-5 in the first period.
But Calgary (21-12-5) responded with four unanswered goals for a
4-1 win, which included a natural hat trick on an even-strength
goal, a power-play goal and a short-handed goal from right wing
“We were pretty bad at home our last game (Sunday’s 5-1 loss to
Vancouver) and we knew we needed to win this game,” Flames
assistant captain Jay Bouwmeester said. “We allowed a lot of shots
early, but we settled down and played a lot better after that.”
The victory, combined with the Kings’ 4-3 home loss to
Minnesota, moved the Flames into a tie with Los Angeles as the
teams jostle for position in the Western Conference.
But perhaps more importantly for Calgary, it helped restore some
confidence the team had been lacking lately. Coach Brent Sutter had
promised Sunday that his team’s problems would be “dealt with,” and
he seemed pleased after Monday’s win.
“I thought our purpose was better tonight,” Sutter told the
Flames’ official Web site. “It’s a step in the direction we need to
get back into.”
The Flames have still dropped three straight home games and will
try to avoid their first four-game winless streak at the Pengrowth
Saddledome in nearly six years. They were 0-3-0 with a tie there
from Dec. 26, 2003-Jan. 3, 2004.
The Kings have been outscored 34-14 while losing their last
eight games at Calgary dating back to the 2005-06 season, and Los
Angeles (22-14-3) hasn’t earned any points in the standings in more
than two weeks.
After a 3-2 win at Edmonton on Dec. 15, the Kings lost 2-1 at
Calgary two days later before a lengthy Christmas break. They
resumed play with a 3-2 defeat at Phoenix on Saturday.
Los Angeles erased a two-goal deficit in the third period
against the Wild, but allowed the game-winning goal just 12 seconds
after the equalizer in a 4-3 loss.
“That was a huge two points that got away from us,” captain
Dustin Brown told the Kings’ official Web site. “That’s all that
really matters at this point, points, whether we’re playing good or
bad. We found ways to win a couple weeks ago, and we need to find
ways to win now.”
Jonathan Quick allowed four goals on 23 shots for the Kings
while starting his seventh straight game, but he hasn’t gotten much
help from an offense averaging 2.0 goals in that stretch.
Center Anze Kopitar has two goals in his last 21 games after
scoring 14 in his first 18 contests. His linemate, Justin Williams,
broke his ankle Saturday at Phoenix and could miss a few
A lack of offense was certainly a problem for the Kings at
Calgary earlier this month, as Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made
34 saves. Kiprusoff is 6-1-0 with a 1.43 goals-against average in
seven starts against Los Angeles since the beginning of last
The Kings’ 2-1 home win Dec. 7 was one of two victories in their
last 14 meetings with the Flames.