FLAMES (30-21-3) at KINGS (23-18-12)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
TIME TO GET HOT: Tonight marks the fourth of five meetings with the Flames this season; Calgary has won all three previous meetings, two of them in overtime. The Flames have won four of their previous five games; they’re coming off of a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. The Kings are kicking off a three-game home stand tonight at STAPLES Center; they’re coming off of a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
LET’S GO STREAKING: The Kings come into the night riding consecutive victories for the first time since December 18-20. The Flames currently hold the Western Conference’s second and final wild-card playoff spot, sitting five points ahead of the Kings. The Kings have a game in-hand on Calgary, though; can they pick up their first win of the season against the Flames and extend their win streak?
LINEUP NOTES: Jonathan Quick is expected to start in net tonight. Andy Andreoff and Derek Forbort remained on the ice for extra work this morning, so they’re likely to be healthy scratches. Per Jon Rosen, who attended the Kings’ morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center, here’s how tonight’s lineup should shake out:
GABORIK – KOPITAR – LEWIS
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – STOLL – WILLIAMS
CLIFFORD – SHORE – NOLAN
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB - MCBAIN
NOT GREAT WHEN IT’S LATE: The Kings have lost four straight games to the Flames, dating back to April 9 of last season. Three of those four losses have come past regulation, with the Flames registering the game-tying goal late in the third period. Can the Kings stave off the Flames in the late-stages of tonight’s game?
STATUS QUO: Jeff Carter left the team on Wednesday to attend his grandfather’s funeral; he is expected to play tonight as long as weather permits on his travels back to Los Angeles. Robyn Regehr, who has been battling an illness, is expected to be healthy enough to go tonight. Alec Martinez will remain out of the lineup as he continues to recover from concussion-like symptoms. Derek Forbort was recalled from the Manchester Monarchs on Wednesday; he is expected to be a healthy scratch tonight. Forbort will wear number 84 for the Kings, the first player to don that number in franchise history.
MELROSE: The Kings will honor Barry Melrose, who coached the team to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final tonight in a special pregame ceremony. Melrose coached the Kings for two and a half seasons before being fired midway through the 1994-’95 campaign. All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative poster upon entering STAPLES Center.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In Calgary’s previous visit to STAPLES Center this season on January 19, the Kings fell to the Flames 2-1 in overtime. The game remained scoreless until midway through the third period, when Jarret Stoll deflected home a Matt Greene slap shot to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Calgary tied the game with just over six minutes to play in regulation, and won the game with 52 seconds left in overtime. Jonathan Quick made 21 saves in the loss.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE pregame coverage at 7:00PM on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:30PM PT.