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Flames continue road trip against surging Kings

by Staff /

FLAMES (3-2-2) at KINGS (6-3-0)


Season series: The Los Angeles Kings won all three matchups last season, outscoring the Calgary Flames 12-4. This is the first of five games this season.

Big story: These teams appear to be heading in opposite directions. The Flames have lost two in a row to start their five-game road trip, while the Kings are winners of five of six as they continue a four-game homestand.

Team scope:

Flames: After starting out the season getting a point in five straight games, Calgary has lost two in a row in regulation. Wednesday it was a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks and Saturday was a 6-3 pounding by the San Jose Sharks.

"This is by far the best team we've played, but at the same time this is by far our worst game. We made some bad decisions … that cost us some goals. We made some bad decisions when we went to the box for a few unnecessary reasons," coach Bob Hartley said.

The Sharks scored in the opening and final minute of the first period to take a 2-0 lead, and built a 4-1 lead after two, as the Flames were shorthanded nine times, allowing three power play goals.

"We had no focus. And when you have no focus in this game, especially playing against a team like this, you don't have a chance to win," Hartley said.

In their four road games so far, the Flames have allowed 16 goals.

Kings: No strangers to close games, having played four one-goal games and two two-goal games already, the Kings looked like they would be in another tight contest Saturday night but broke a 2-2 third period deadlock with three goals to earn a 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars.

"What we need to do is create an identity again on ice. You need to do it every year," said Justin Williams, who had two-first period goals. "Whether it's a tie game going into the third [or] you're down a goal, you need to feel like you're going to win, and tonight I felt in this dressing room at the end of the second period that we were confident we were going to win."

The Kings got five goals, their most in a game this season, and Williams had two full periods to attempt his second career hat trick, but was unable to do so even when the Stars pulled their goalie late in the third period.

"It's funny when you get one early, things seem to slow a little bit down for you and you start making a few more plays. Of course, I certainly wanted to get that third one. I wanted to see the ice littered with hats," the 14-year veteran said.

Who's hot: Left wing Jiri Hudler has a goal Saturday night, and has a point in all seven games this season (four goals, five assists) for the Flames. … Defenseman Jake Muzzin had two assists Saturday and has four points in his past three games for the Kings. Goalie Jonathan Quick has allowed three goals on 61 shots (.951 save percentage) over his last two games.

Injury report: Forwards Mike Cammalleri (hand), Matt Stajan (leg) and David Jones (upper body) are all on injured reserve for the Flames. … The Kings report no injuries.

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