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Flames open two-game set in L.A.

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (9-9-4) at KINGS (12-8-2)

TV: CBC, FS-West

Last 10: Calgary 5-4-1; Los Angeles 7-3-0

Season series: It's the second of three meetings this season, and the Flames' first of back-to-back games in L.A. The Kings won 3-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 20.

Big story: The Flames begin a rare two-game visit to Los Angeles -- they'll stay over and play the Kings again on Monday. Both teams are coming off losses: Calgary fell 4-0 at Anaheim on Friday, while the Kings were beaten 5-2 by Dallas at Staples Center on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Flames: The Kings may be one of the NHL's best home teams, but the Flames would rather play just about anywhere other than Anaheim's Honda Center. Calgary's 4-0 loss on Friday marked the Flames' 16th consecutive regular-season loss in Anaheim. It was even more frustrating because the Flames dominated for most of the first two periods after allowing an early goal -- only to allow a pair of tallies late in the second period that blew the game open.

"The first 34 or 35 minutes, we played great hockey," coach Bob Hartley said. "We won the puck, we were physical, we did everything except score, and then that second goal really hurt us. It put us back on our heels. We had to open up, and they took advantage of that."

Kings: Darryl Sutter wasn't a happy man after Thursday night's 5-2 loss to Dallas, a game in which his team suffered an unusually large number of defensive breakdowns.

The Kings' coach still wasn't smiling after Friday's practice as he prepared for back-to-back games against the team he coached to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

"We're giving too many goals up," he said. "I said that after the game. ... You give up too many goals, you don't win. You give up four goals against, you don't win. If they're great plays and all that stuff, wonderful. But it's slipped into some of our younger players' games, and we have to get it out of them. Get the mistakes out of their game again, and they're easy mistakes to correct if they want to correct them."

Who's hot: L.A.'s Jeff Carter has been carrying the offense. Carter is among the NHL leaders with 16 goals and has 12 in his last 12 games.

Injury report: Calgary is still without forwards Paul Byron (hand) and Mikael Backlund (knee). … Kings defenseman Matt Greene (back) and Willie Mitchell (knee) are still nowhere near returning.

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