Flames hope to make Kings their latest road victim
FLAMES (18-7-3) at KINGS (17-10-3)
Calgary 6-3-1; Los Angeles 6-3-1
This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. Calgary took Round 1 with a 5-2 win behind a hat trick from Jarome Iginla at the Staples Center on Nov. 21.
This is a great matchup between two of the more exciting teams in the Western Conference. The way things are shaping up, the Flames and Kings could be battling for playoff seeding the rest of the way.
Monday concludes what has been a remarkable six-game road trip for Calgary. A win against the Kings would give Brent Sutter's club 10 of a possible 12 points on its longest trip of the season. The Flames are coming off an impressive 2-1 win at San Jose on Saturday thanks to a 35-save effort from Miikka Kiprusoff and a tremendous defensive job against the Sharks' top line of Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
"They've been the highest scoring line so far and we knew it would be a challenge," center Olli Jokinen said. "It was just a good two points for us."
Los Angeles is coming off its first loss of December, but still managed to earn a point in the process in Saturday's 5-4 shootout defeat against the St. Louis Blues at the Staples Center. Scott Parse
and Jarret Stoll
had a goal and an assist apiece in the loss.
"I don't think we played very well," captain Dustin Brown
said. "I shouldn't say that. I guess we had some spurts, but it wasn't consistent enough tonight. We battled back and got a point, but that other point could be a huge difference-maker, especially against a team like that, that we're battling with (for playoff position)."
Kiprusoff has allowed only three goals in his four appearances during this road trip and has posted two shutouts. … Kings forward Brad Richardson
, who did not score a goal in his first 57 games with the club — has tallies in three consecutive games. Richardson scored a first-period shorthanded goal on Saturday.
Flames defenseman Cory Sarich is out with an undisclosed injury suffered on Nov. 23. … Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi
is expected to return on Monday after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. Veteran forward Ryan Smyth
(upper body) could return next week, while right wing Brandon Segal
(knee) is day-to-day. Andrei Loktionov
(shoulder) is on injured reserve and isn't expected back until March.
Their shootout loss to the Blues dropped the Kings' record to 0-2-1 in three Saturday afternoon games. They share the building with two NBA teams, the Lakers and the Clippers.
Calgary must be on cloud nine following its win at San Jose on Saturday, so confidence won't be an issue at opening faceoff. Terry Murray must have his club prepared from the get-go, or the Flames will head home with one of the most successful road trips in recent memory in their pockets.