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Flames edge Kings on Cammalleri's late goal

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- Before media was allowed into the Calgary Flames’ dressing room, a team official directed the group of fathers to join their sons. A few shouts and some clapping were heard.

The Flames certainly gave their fathers pride after they completed the family-bonding trip with an impressive 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at Staples Center. Mike Cammalleri's goal with 23 seconds remaining and Karri Ramo's stellar goaltending provided the edge.

With the regulation win, the injury-decimated Flames snapped L.A.'s 11-game point streak (7-0-4).

"To get the win was special," Cammalleri said. "We wanted to get a big one for them [the fathers] tonight, and against a good team … it's one of those things. You go through life and you have certain moments that are pretty special and for all of us, this is a special weekend."

The Kings had won four straight games in overtime or the shootout, but Cammalleri made sure it didn't get that far. He surprisingly got open in front of the net for Mikael Backlund's pass and backhanded the puck past goalie Ben Scrivens.

Justin Williams tied it with 4:31 left on a wrist shot from the right side that beat Ramo for Williams' 200th career goal and Anze Kopitar's 500th career point. The Flames goalie got a piece of the shot, but it found the upper portion of the net.

Ramo made 21 saves and beat L.A. for the second time this season. Two of Ramo's three wins have come against the Kings. Ramo looked sharp in his first start since Nov.8. He made a blocker save on Jordan Nolan and consecutive stops on Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter in the first period.

Ramo also made clutch saves on Carter and Slava Voynov during the five-minute penalty kill in the second.

"He played an outstanding game for us and part of the reason why he played so well is the way he works every day, because he did not play for quite a while and watching this guy in practice and in the gym, I knew that he would be ready and he deserves big credit," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said.

Coming off a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary was able to curb L.A.'s puck possession game and force an uncharacteristic 19 giveaways by the Kings, who looked slow and unorganized for much of the game.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said it was a team breakdown on the game-winning goal.

"That's a bad play all the way around," Sutter said. "That's five guys all the way around. The puck's behind their goalie with less than a minute left. [Dwight King] should not chase behind [the net]. That's a big point."

Sutter thought the four straight extra-time games have had an adverse effect on his team, but he also credited Cammalleri, a former Kings forward who had a goal and assist in Calgary's Oct.21 win against L.A.

"Cammalleri's a killer," Sutter said. "Every game that Cammy plays here is like a home game. He out-battles Voynov, and gets to the net."

Scrivens has been masterful in place of Quick, but his gaffe allowed Calgary to take a 1-0 lead into the third period.

During a five-minute power play, Scrivens fell trying to grab the puck. Paul Byron beat him to it from behind the goal line and from a prone position passed it to Blair Jones for an open-net shorthanded goal at 15:50 of the second.

"Stuff happens," Scrivens said. "It is a game on ice and I got an edge and they were fortunate enough to capitalize on it. I was trying to get out there, play pucks and help the defensemen out. That was my plan going out and I had an unfortunate break catching an edge. Ninety percent of the time, that doesn't really do anything, but this time it unfortunately might have cost us the game."

Calgary, which had three power plays in the previous four games, got four in the first 30 minutes but managed three shots total and one on a two-man advantage.

It wasn't the finest second period for L.A., which entered the game tied for third in the NHL for the most times shorthanded. Captain Dustin Brown's interference penalty was the most egregious and was the result of a hit on Matt Stajan 180 feet from L.A.'s net.

The Flames were guilty too. Ladislav Smid committed the five-minute major boarding penalty when he ran King and gave him a nasty cut near his eye. Shane O'Brien took a hard elbowing penalty on Williams against the end boards.

But of course that all dissipated in a Calgary room that had the fathers beaming. The Flames won't return home to the Alberta chill, but instead will stay here for a round of golf Sunday before departing for home.

"Wins haven't been as frequent as we would like," Cammalleri said. "For us, it's nice to get the win, and it adds to it when you have the respect you do and understand that those are the kinds of games that they are comfortable playing in. We're a young team who's trying to learn how to in those types of games."

What will this do for their confidence?

"We'll see," Cammalleri said.

L.A. previously had 11-game point streaks in 1973-74 and 2010-11.

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