The Los Angeles Kings are winning in bunches these days. The same can't be said of the Calgary Flames.
The Kings carry a season high-tying four-game winning streak into Thursday night's home contest against the Flames, losers of five of their last six.
Los Angeles (24-21-7) had dropped four in a row (0-3-1) from Jan. 10-17, but has since regrouped to win seven of its last eight games. Tuesday night's 4-3 shootout victory on the road against the league-worst New York Islanders was the Kings' fourth in a row, matching their streak from Nov. 6-13.
They rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits before defenseman Jack Johnson scored the lone goal in the shootout. Los Angeles, which is seeking its first five-game winning streak since Feb. 11-March 7, 2006, is now only three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the crowded Western Conference.
The Kings, who finished tied with Tampa Bay for the fewest points in the league last season with 71, have not appeared in the playoffs in 2001-02.
"These games are huge for us," said captain Dustin Brown, who has six goals and seven assists in his last nine games.
After playing eight of their last nine games away from Los Angeles, the Kings open a three-game stretch at Staples Center, where they have lost seven of their last 10.
Los Angeles has also dropped three of its last four home meetings versus the Flames (31-18-5) to fall to 1-8-0 in the overall series since Dec. 19, 2006. The Kings have lost both matchups this season, 3-2 at home on Nov. 1 and 6-2 in Calgary on Nov. 25.
Though the Flames have outscored the Kings 43-26 in the teams' last nine matchups, they enter this game slumping. Calgary beat Montreal 6-2 at home on Monday, then held a lead entering the third period Wednesday night in Anaheim, but fell 3-2 in overtime for its fifth loss in six games.
"We didn't take it to them when we had the lead," coach Mike Keenan said. "That has been symptomatic of our club."
Miikka Kiprusoff was the Flames' lone bright spot Wednesday, making 37 saves while starting for the eighth time in nine games. Boasting a league-leading 31 wins, he is 11-3-1 with a 2.52 goals-against average in his last 15 games versus the Kings, including both Calgary wins this season.
Captain Jarome Iginla has 24 goals and 47 points in 45 career matchups with the Kings, but the Flames' leader with 38 assists and 58 points is mired in a five-game goal-scoring drought and has just two goals and 11 assists in his last 17 contests.
Former King Michael Cammalleri - Calgary's leader with 28 goals - has 48 goals and 97 points in 139 career games at Staples Center, where he played his first five NHL seasons before being dealt to the Flames for draft picks last June. He has a goal and assist this season in the two meetings with his former club.
Calgary is seeking to avoid a fifth straight road loss. That would be the worst skid away from home for the Flames since they dropped seven in a row from Jan. 26-Feb. 22, 2007.