KINGS (18-11-7) at FLAMES (19-15-3)
TV: FS-W, SNW
Season series: Powered by a hat trick from rookie forward Johnny Gaudreau, the Calgary Flames erased a 3-0 deficit before captain Mark Giordano scored the game-winner with 53 seconds remaining in overtime to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 at Staples Center on Dec. 22.
Kings team scope: Los Angeles rebounded from the pre-Christmas loss to Calgary with a 3-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. As was the case against the Flames five nights earlier, the Kings had a two-goal lead in the third period, but they didn't let it slip away against the Sharks. "Even though we were up a couple of goals, you just want to keep on going," forward Anze Kopitar said. "Everybody says the best defense is offense anyway. You keep the puck away from them. You keep it to yourself. It's the best thing to do. (Coach) Darryl (Sutter) has been preaching on checking a lot lately, so I thought we did a good job of that too." Kopitar has two goals and 12 points in his past five games. "It's coming along right now," he said. "It seems like we are making some good plays, and we are getting some opportunities. It seems like we are building up the chemistry and getting to know each other's small details on the ice, that's why we are creating chances."
Flames team scope: After losing eight straight games (0-7-1), Calgary has won two in a row, including a 4-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday to kick off a six-game homestand. Gaudreau has five of Calgary's eight goals in the two wins. "I'm just doing my best to help contribute offensively, help the guys win a game here and there, whether it's scoring a goal or playing well defensively," Gaudreau said. "Whatever I have to do to help the team win is most important for me. Right now pucks are going in the net. Hopefully I can keep it going." Gaudreau and the Flames hope to use the momentum gained from the consecutive wins to power through the rest of the homestand. "I think we've got to use this to our advantage," he said. "Those past two, three weeks we weren't playing the best we could and we were on the road. Now we're back home and we're playing well and got to get the most points we can out of this homestand."