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Preview: Flames vs. Kings

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

KINGS (23-11-2) at FLAMES (17-17-2)

TV: NHLN, SN360, SN1, FS-W (7:00 PM MT)

Season series: The Calgary Flames won four of five games against the Los Angeles Kings last season, with two wins in overtime. Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller won three; Joni Ortio won the other. Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau led all scorers with eight points (four goals, four assists); forward Jiri Hudler (two goals, five assists) and defenceman Dennis Wideman (one goal, six assists) each had seven points for Calgary. Kings center Tyler Toffoli had four goals and one assist in four games.

Kings team scope: Forward Jeff Carter, who has missed two games with an upper-body injury, practiced Wednesday but couldn't say whether he'll be able to play. "It is what it is. It's kind of status quo, so we'll see how it goes,'' he told the Los Angeles Times. Forward Dwight King, who made his season debut Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers after missing the first 35 games with a broken foot, scored in the 5-2 win. He said he was tired at the end of the game but felt good at practice Wednesday. "It's obviously a mental preparation kind of thing, just continue to kind of build with my linemates,'' he told the Kings website. This is the end of a four-game road trip; Los Angeles has won the first three and scored 14 goals.

Flames team scope: Calgary will try to start a new streak after winning 11 in a row at home before losing to the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 on Tuesday. Goalie Karri Ramo will start his eighth straight game; he is 4-3-0 in the previous seven, allowing 14 goals. Coach Bob Hartley told the Flames website he has no problem with 5-foot-9, 157-pound Gaudreau sticking up for himself. "Johnny can dish it,'' Hartley said. "Teams are taking liberties at some point on Johnny because of his talent, because of his size. But I think he's handling it well.'' Gaudreau said, "No one likes getting slashed on the wrist or in the back of the legs. I've been getting it all my life. It's nothing new to me. The only thing you can do is find the net and score a goal.'' Calgary is 9-3-0 in December.

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