Kings aim to end hex in Calgary
Thursday, 12.17.2009 / 7:30 PM
KINGS (22-11-3) AT FLAMES (19-10-4)
-- Los Angeles 8-1-1; Calgary 5-4-1.
Season Series - -
This four-game regular-season series is tied at one with the Flames taking the first contest, 5-2, on Nov. 21 and the Kings winning 2-1 on Dec. 7. Both those games were played at Staples Center, while the next two will be at Pengrowth Saddledome.
Big Story --
No team in the NHL has been hotter than the Kings as they have lost in regulation only once since they fell to Vancouver, 4-1, on Nov. 26. However, Los Angeles has been winless at Calgary since Dec. 21, 2005. The Flames, meanwhile, are trying to avoid their first four-game losing streak of the season.
The Western Conference-leading Kings have won five of their last six games and are definitely looking like a legitimate contender this year, but they’ll still be seeking to break a seven-game losing streak at the Saddledome.
Los Angeles’ offense has been paced by a pair of young superstars as 22-year-old center Anze Kopitar
leads the team with 38 points and 25-year-old right wing Dustin Brown
is second with 27 points. Their goaltending has been absolutely spectacular this season with 23-year old UMass-Amherst alum Jonathan Quick
tied for the League lead in wins at 20 with New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur going into Wednesday night’s games.
Calgary has been playing fine hockey for most of the season, but it has definitely cooled down over the last few contests. The Flames are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak, with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
But the Flames currently have 42 points, which means they are just a win away from taking the Northwest lead back from the Colorado Avalanche. However, right wing Jarome Iginla
has been struggling to find the back of the net recently. The captain has not scored in a season-high seven games, although he has compiled 18 points over his last nine home games against the Kings.
Who’s Hot --
Quick is 7-1-1 with a 2.25 goals-against average over his last nine games for Los Angeles. Right wing Rene Bourque
has a goal and an assist in each of his last two games for the Flames.
Injury Report --
The Kings placed forward Wayne Simmonds on injured reserve Wednesday and they’ll also be without forwards Ryan Smyth, Brandon Segal and Andrei Lokitonov. For the Flames, defenseman Cory Sarich
remains on injured reserve.
Stat Pack --
The Kings are second in the Western Conference with an average of 27.4 shots against per game. Calgary is dead last in the League with a 45.6 percent of faceoffs won this season.
Puck Drop --
"Moving into first in the West is a real shot in the arm. We are starting to really believe in ourselves." -- Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell after scoring the game-winning goal against the Oilers on Tuesday, breaking a 157-game goal scoring drought.