KINGS (21-15-8) at FLAMES (21-19-5)
TV: CBC, FS-W (HD)
Los Angeles 5-1-4; Calgary 5-4-1
This will be the first of four meetings this season between the clubs. In fact, the two teams will square off again five days from now at Staples Center in Los Angeles. After dropping the 2010-11 season opener, the Kings won three straight to close out the series, including back-to-back shootout victories on Feb. 5 at Scotiabank Saddledome, 4-3, and March 21 at Staples Center, 2-1.
Don't think for a second that Calgary coach Brent Sutter or Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter consider this to be just another regular-season game on the schedule. Darryl, who resigned as Flames GM on Dec. 28, 2010, took over as Kings coach last month and has led them to a 6-2-3 mark. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the much-anticipated Sutter vs. Sutter match will be the 32nd time in his life that Darryl has coached against one of his brothers -- 29 have come against Brian and two against Duane. Back in 1997, Darryl was coach of the San Jose Sharks when he paid a visit to Calgary, where brother Brian was behind the Flames bench.
Not only did Los Angeles drop a 5-4 decision to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, but they also lost alternate captain Anze Kopitar
. Kopitar, who leads the Kings with 40 points, suffered an upper-body injury midway through the third period when he was sent crashing into the end boards by Stars captain Brenden Morrow. Kopitar was to be re-evaluated on Friday.
Since the 2000-01 season, the only time captain Jarome Iginla
didn't lead Calgary in goal-scoring was in 2008-09 when Michael Cammalleri
was a member of the team and connected for 39 goals. Iginla had 35 that season. Well, the 29-year-old Cammalleri is back in the mix after being acquired on Thursday along with goalie Karri Ramo and a 2012 fifth-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2013 second-round draft pick. Cammalleri will be in the lineup against the Kings in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere at the Saddledome on Saturday.
"We believe Cammalleri will help our offensive production, solidify a second scoring line, bolster our power play, and bring another strong veteran voice to our room," general manager Jay Feaster said. "We are confident that a return to Calgary will be good for Mike and good for our continued pursuit of a playoff berth."
Calgary wing Curtis Glencross
, who signed a four-year, $10.2 million contract after setting career highs with 24 goals and 43 points in 2010-11, hasn't let up this campaign. The 29-year-old Glencross, who has 4 goals and 9 points in the last seven games, has 18 goals and 33 points in 43 games.
The Flames are without Alex Tanguay
(upper body), Matt Stajan
(ankle), Brendan Morrison
(upper body), Scott Hannan
(upper body) and David Moss
(foot). … For the Kings, Kopitar (upper body) is doubtful and Simon Gagne
(concussion), who missed his eighth straight game on Thursday, is out.
The Flames have won eight straight home games and posted a 10-0-1 mark in their last 11 outings at the Saddledome -- a streak that began with a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 18.
Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff
earned his third shutout of the season and the 43rd of his career with 23 saves in a 1-0 overtime victory over Anaheim on Thursday. Kiprusoff's goose egg tied him for 29th on the all-time list with Gump Worsley. The victory also moved Kiprusoff into a 27th-place tie with Ron Hextall in career wins (295).