A win over the Calgary Flames sparked the Los Angeles Kings' best run of the season, but it hasn't been nearly good enough for coach Marc Crawford.
The Kings look to win three straight against the Flames for the first time in nearly six years when they meet Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Los Angeles is 5-4-1 since a 3-1 win against Calgary (16-12-3) on Nov. 25. A victory Tuesday would give the Kings three straight wins against the Flames for the first time since Oct. 15, 1999-Jan. 6, 2001, when they won five in a row.
Since its most recent matchup with Calgary, the Kings have won consecutive games only once since then and twice this season. Los Angeles (12-17-5) had a chance to win its second straight contest Saturday, but lost 4-3 in a shootout to Dallas.
"I've seen progress, I haven't seen consistency," Crawford told the Los Angeles Times Web site.
Sean Avery had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles. Dustin Brown and Rob Blake also scored for the Kings, who outshot Dallas 36-31.
Los Angeles has lost nine of 14 this season when posting 35 or more shots on net, and has also allowed at least one power-play goal in nine straight games. Its opponents are 15-for-43 during that stretch.
"We have to start feeling like we can win from the start of the game," Kings defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky said. "We have to be ready to win. It seems like we kind of hesitate sometimes. Something goes wrong and we go, 'Whoa.' It's a mental thing. We can't just say we're going to win, we have to feel it."
Rookie Barry Brust, filling in for injured goaltenders Dan Cloutier (shoulder) and Mathieu Garon (groin), finished with 28 saves. Brust was backed up by Yutaka Fukufuji, making him the first Japanese-born player to dress for an NHL game.
Fukufuji on Monday was sent to Long Beach of the ECHL, but no corresponding move was made.
Calgary has struggled during the first half of its season-high six-game road trip, losing two of three games including a 4-1 loss to Anaheim on Monday in which it failed to convert any of five power-play chances.
"We were drawing penalties and getting power plays, but we didn't get a goal," said Calgary's Jarome Iginla.
The Flames, who scored on three of their seven opportunities with the man advantage in a 6-3 win over Phoenix on Saturday, are in the bottom third of the league on the power play.
Iginla, who had an assist in Monday's loss, has nine goals and nine assists in his last nine games. The Flames have gone 6-2-1 in that span, and are tied with Vancouver for second place in the Northwest Division - one point behind first-place Edmonton, but just one point ahead of Colorado and Minnesota for fourth place.
Iginla has scored 21 goals - seven coming on the power play - in 37 career games versus Los Angeles.
Los Angeles posted a 3-1 win over Calgary on Nov. 25 in their first meeting this season. Alexander Frolov scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Michael Cammalleri and rookie Anze Kopitar had power-play goals for the Kings, who got 22 saves from Garon. Alex Tanguay scored for the Flames.