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Scouting Report: LA Kings

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- It's good to be the Kings.

After a disappointing 2014-15 campaign, the LA Kings have returned to the top of the standings in the Pacific Division, holding an 11-point lead over Arizona and Vancouver, who sit second and third respectively.

They are also tied with Dallas for the NHL lead in average shots per game (32.4), have the League's seventh-ranked penalty kill (82.9%), are fourth in hits (1058), and have allowed the least goals in the Pacific Division (81).

Needless to say, things are going well for the Kings.

They will be heading into the New Year's Eve match-up in Calgary on a high after defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Tuesday evening and the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 a night earlier.

After a scoreless first period in Edmonton, the Kings scored three goals in a 1:36 span in the middle frame and chased starter Cam Talbot. Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown added the Kings final goals in the game.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick made 42 saves in the win over the Oilers. The Kings starter has a 20-9-1 record, a 2.20 GAA, and a .921 save percentage this year.

This will be the first game between the Flames and Kings this season. Last year, Calgary had LA's number, going 4-1-0 and outscoring the Kings 14-11 in the five-game season series.

Johnny Gaudreau led all skaters in scoring with four goals and eight points. Trailing him was Jiri Hudler, with two goals and seven points, and Dennis Wideman, who had one goal and six assists against the Kings last year.


Record: 23-11-2

2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 0-0-0

2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 1-2-2

Notable Injuries: Jeff Carter (upper body), Kyle Clifford (upper body), Matt Greene (shoulder)

Who's HOT: Tyler Toffoli

Toffoli, who leads the Kings in scoring with 18 goals and 29 points in 36 games, heads into Thursday's game on a four-game point streak. In that span, the 23-year-old has six goals and seven points. He is coming off a one-goal performance in a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and a hat-trick performance on Monday versus the Canucks.

The forward led the Kings in scoring against the Flames last season with four goals and five points in four games.

Honourable Mention: Dwight King

The Meadow Lake, SK product played his first game of the season on Tuesday in Edmonton and had an immediate impact. King opened the scoring at Rexall Place and ended the night with two points, one shot, two hits, and 14:50 of ice time.

In five games against the Flames last season, King had one goal and two points.

Who's NOT: Marian Gaborik

The 33-year-old has been limited to seven goals and 13 points in 36 appearances this year and is on pace for 16 goals and 30 points this season. He has been held to just one assist in his last five games and is a minus-six in that span.

Gaborik faced the Flames four times last year, scoring one goal against Calgary in 2014-15.

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