KINGS (22-14-3) AT FLAMES (21-12-5)
Last 10 - Los Angeles 5-4-1; Calgary 3-5-2
Season series - It's the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Calgary has won two of the first three, 5-2 at Los Angeles on Nov. 21 and 2-1 at home on Dec. 17. The Kings' only victory was a 2-1 win at home on Dec. 7. Los Angeles has lost its last eight visits to the Pengrowth Saddledome and has been outscored 34-14.
Big story - The Kings have played just twice since their last visit to Calgary 13 days ago, and the results haven't been good - they've dropped one-goal decisions to Phoenix on Saturday and at home to Minnesota on Monday, dropping them to third in the Pacific Division and sixth in the Western Conference. The visit from the Kings comes as a 'tweener game for the Flames between a home-and-home edition of the Battle of Alberta - Calgary won the front end with a 4-1 win at Edmonton on Monday.
Kings - The Kings were poised to get at least a point against Minnesota on Monday, scoring twice in the third period to pull even at 3-3 on Scott Parse's goal with 2:37 remaining. But Eric Belanger scored just 12 seconds later to let the air out of a sellout crowd at the Staples Center and give the Wild a 4-3 win.
"I thought we played well enough to win today," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We're playing well. We didn't think we played well in Phoenix, but we played well enough to win today. We just need to keep going with the same thing."
Flames - One night after a dreadful 5-1 home loss to Vancouver, the Flames looked like an entirely different team in a solid 4-1 win at Edmonton. Rene Bourque had three of the four goals as the Flames stood up to the Oilers and got a 34-save performance from Miikka Kiprusoff, who had been pulled after two periods the night before.
"As a team we have to play a certain way," coach Brent Sutter said. "When we play that way we are a tough team to play against. When we don't play that we are an easy team to play against and the last couple of weeks we have been an easy team to play against."
Who's hot - Kings defenseman Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist against Minnesota and is now tied for the NHL lead among defensemen with 9 goals. His 26 points are one fewer than he scored all last season. Kings forward Brad Richardson is 1-4-5 during a four-game points streak. … Calgary forward Rene Bourque is coming off a hat trick at Edmonton. Defenseman Mark Giordano, who had the other goal on Monday, has scored twice in his last three games.
Injury report - Kings forward Justin Williams had surgery on his broken leg on Monday, two days after being injured at Phoenix. He's expected to miss about 12 weeks. Center Jarret Stoll is out with a groin injury, and defenseman Randy Jones hasn't played for two weeks with a head injury.… The Flames are still without defenseman Cory Sarich, who's been out for a month with an undisclosed injury.
Stat pack - Eleven of the Kings' last 13 games have been decided by one goal. The Kings are 8-3-0 in those games. ... The Flames have always owned the Kings at home; going back to the founding of the franchise in Atlanta in 1972, the Flames are 72-32-12 in home games, outscoring L.A. 517-378. However, 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 with a tie at home from Dec. 26, 2003-Jan. 3, 2004.
Puck drop - The Kings have seen some of the luster come off their hot start after three consecutive one-goal losses that have dropped them from the top of the NHL standings into the middle of the pack in the West. The Flames can't seem to put two solid performances together; they'll also be playing for the third time in four nights and play again on Thursday against their biggest rival.