FLAMES (12-6-2) at KINGS (13-8-2)
Last 10 -- Flames 5-4-1; Kings 5-4-1
Season series -- This is the first of four meetings. In 2008-09, Calgary swept all four games and allowed only five goals. Jarome Iginla scored two of the four game-winning goals. Iginla and Mike Cammalleri each scored 2 goals and 3 assists in the series, and Craig Conroy recorded 5 assists. Alexander Frolov (1-2-3) and Kyle Quincey (0-3-3) had 3 points each for the Kings. Miikka Kiprusoff recorded all four wins for the Flames.
Big story -- Two of the top five teams in the Western Conference, points-wise, meet, and each is coming off a loss. Calgary sports an impressive 6-1-2 road record, while the Kings are two games above .500 at home (5-3-1) and feature the NHL's leading scorer in Anze Kopitar (14-18-32).
Flames -- Calgary is beginning a two-game swing through Southern California after home losses to Colorado (3-2 on Tuesday) and Chicago (7-1 on Thursday).
Though the Flames are just a few points behind Colorado for the Northwest Division lead, there are rumors of internal strife as coach Brent Sutter molds the team in his image -- and that image is not to be outscored 10-3 in back-to-back losses at home.
"I've seen a lot of shouting matches between players and coaches, some behind closed doors and others on ice. It's something that happens. Tempers flare and it's an emotional game, so that's what happens," defenseman Cory Sarich told the Calgary Sun. "We're all big boys and learn to work through stuff like that. Usually a day or two after, it's water under the bridge.
"It's like a little family here. Everyone has their scraps, but as long as you grow from it, that's all that matters. If it's done the right way and for the right reasons, we can all suck it up and know it's for the ultimate goal, which is improving."
Kings -- Los Angeles is wrapping up a two-game homestand that began with a 3-2 loss against Philadelphia on Wednesday.
It wasn't a good night for the Kings, who played their first contest without second-leading scorer Ryan Smyth (lower body) and lost despite outshooting the Flyers 39-20. "It's a game I think we're going to look at as (one) we gave away," center Anze Kopitar said. "I think we're playing decent but just those two break downs in the second period cost us a goal, and when you're behind you're trying to chase it."
Goaltender Jonathan Quick said: "At the end of the year, you want to have games like this under your belt that you won, and tonight we couldn't get it done."
Who's hot -- For the Kings, Drew Doughty has 2 goals and an assist in his last three games, Jarret Stoll has 2 goals and an assist in his last two games, Kopitar has 9 goals and 10 assists in his last 14 games, and Randy Jones has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last five games. For the Flames, Dustin Boyd has a goal and 2 assists in his last three games, Jarome Iginla has 3 goals and an assist in his last three games, Rene Bourque has 3 goals and 9 assists in his last 12 games, and Nigel Dawes has 6 assists in his last seven games
Injury report -- For the Kings, defenseman Rob Scuderi (lower-body) and Smyth (upper-body) are day-to-day. For the Flames, there are no injuries to report.
Stat pack -- Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester holds the longest current consecutive game streak in the NHL at 362. … Calgary has scored the first goal of the game in 15 of the 20 games it has played in this season, with a 10-3-2 record when getting on the score sheet first. … Kopitar, the NHL's leading scorer, is on pace for 49-64-113, which would be the most by a Kings player since Wayne Gretzky had 130 points in 1993-94.
Puck drop -- "There needs to be a lot more consistent emotion. It is staying with it, dealing with adversity. The game is 90 per cent mental. This team has a lot of work to do with that. A sense of urgency has to be there." -- Flames coach Brent Sutter on his team's recent play