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5 THINGS - FLAMES @ KINGS

The Flames look to win their third straight game - and beat the Kings for the first time this season - when they hit the Staples Center ice tonight

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (4-3-1: 9 pts.) @ KINGS (2-5-0: 4 pts.)

8 p.m. | TV: HNIC, Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet 360 | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

 

Video: Setting up tonight's tilt with the Kings

 

Season series: 0-0-1-0

All-time regular-season record: 124-92-21-7

Last 10 vs. Kings: 6-2-2-0 

Flames road record: 1-3-0

Kings home record: 1-3-0

 

Current Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk (7)

Goals - Elias LIndholm (5)

Kings:

Points - Anze Kopitar (8)

Goals - Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty (3)

 

1. US

Home ice was a welcome respite for the Flames, who won two in a row at the Scotiabank Saddledome earlier this week after dropping a pair of road tilts last weekend in Vegas and San Jose. The offence found its legs, outscoring the competition 8-2 in the victories, which started with a 3-1 win over the Flyers Tuesday. Michael Frolik - skating in his 800th NHL tilt - scored his first goal of the season, as did youngster Andrew Mangiapane . Elias Lindholm potted an empty-netter to seal the deal, with David Rittich turning aside 21 shots. Up 2-1 on the Red Wings after two periods on Thursday courtesy of goals from Mangiapane and Lindholm, the Flames exploded for three third-period goals to run away with the game. Sam Bennett , Derek Ryan and captain Mark Giordano all found twine in the final frame. Rittich made 27 saves, tested early in both the opening and second periods but making two stellar stops. Coach Bill Peters was asked after the win if it was his team's best game of the year: "Definitely in spurts. I didn't think we were tight in the second. I think in the third it came down to us having the puck more. That's how we want to play. We want to hold on it, make plays and be responsible with the puck. Sometimes the right play is to chip it in and establish the forecheck, but sometimes we need to hold onto it and I thought we did a better job of that tonight. I think we've done a better job in our last three games, so that's an encouraging sign."

 

2. THEM

Things have not been going well for the Kings. Really. Not. Well. They have lost three straight, and five of their first seven to open the new campaign. The most recent losses have all come at home in the Staples Center: 5-2 to the Golden Knights at home Sunday, 2-0 to the Hurricanes, and 3-0 to the Sabres on Thursday. That last score didn't tell the true tale of the tilt, however, as Carter Hutton set the Buffalo record for most saves in a shutout with an incredible 47. "He stole us that game, so we'll take two points, for sure, pretty much thanks to (Hutton)," said teammate Casey Mittelstadt. The Kings were left frustrated by another loss. "It was first 10 minutes of the game that put us behind, and we couldn't get back," said Kopitar. "Credit to them, they're a good team. But it wasn't so much what they were doing, it was we gave up four or five odd-man rushes, and they cashed in, so you just can't expect to give up odd-man rushes and not get scored on." 


3. US vs THEM

The Flames mounted a three-goal comeback in the first meeting between these two teams on Oct. 8 to force overtime. Tkachuk posted his best night of the season thus far with a three-point performance (1G, 2A) - including the game-tying goal with 64 seconds to play - and chipping in seven hits. Doughty scored the winner 50 seconds into OT thanks to a brilliant cross-ice pass from Kopitar … This is the second of four matchups this season between the Flames and Los Angeles Kings. It's also a divisional matchup. The Flames have started this young season with a record of 1-2-1 against opponents.

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: Tkachuk is off to a terrific start this season. He is tied for most points (2G, 5A) on the Flames through eight games with Gaudreau (3G, 4A). Tkachuk also has the third most hits on the team with 17. Through 232 games, Tkachuk has 181 points (73G, 108A) in his young career ... THAT: Speaking of Tkachuk, he has moved into a tie for second in Flames franchise history for the most assists (108) before turning 22 years old. Tkachuk, whose birthday is on Dec. 11, is tied with Paul Reinhart and trails Dan Quinn (119) by 11 assists for the top spot.... THE OTHER: The Kings are tied for the worst goal differential in the Western Conference at -11 with the Dallas Stars. Only the Minnesota Wild are worse at -15. The Flames are eighth at +1.

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames: LW Milan Lucic

The Big Man had a big impact on Thursday's game, collecting his first point as a Flame with a great play to set up Bennett's goal. He also had four shots on goal and threw five hits, making his presence known all night during his 15:09 of icetime. 

Kings: D Drew Doughty

He scored the overtime winner against Calgary and is always plenty motivated when he plays the Flames. He's got five points this season and continues to be the Kings No.-1 threat on the blueline.

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