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Iginla's hat trick leads Flames to 5-2 win in L.A.

by John Kreiser /
Jarome Iginla made sure the Calgary Flames' blowout loss on Thursday didn't turn into something worse.

Calgary's captain scored a goal in each period for his ninth career hat trick, leading the Flames to a 5-2 win at Los Angeles on Saturday.

"We were assertive, we played an intelligent game and we were smart," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said of his team's rebound from a 7-1 home loss to Chicago less than 48 hours earlier. "Iginla played a whale of a game, just not the fact that he scored. He was just rock solid in a lot of areas."

Iginla got the Flames started early by beating Jonathan Quick 13 seconds into the game, tied the score at 2-2 with a 5-on-3 power-play goal 6:51 into the second and completed his first hat trick this season by ripping a shot from the right circle past Quick with 4:07 left in regulation for a 4-2 lead.

Iginla was in the penalty box when Daymond Langkow scored a shorthanded goal for Calgary to break a 2-2 tie 7:22 into the third period. David Moss scored for the Flames with 46 seconds remaining, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves.

Iginla was most pleased with the rebound by the Flames' penalty-killers, who were torched for four power-play goals in the loss to Chicago.

"I was hoping and praying," Iginla said of his two-minute stint in the box. "They worked hard all night and were so determined."

Drew Doughty and Alexander Frolov scored 38 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Kings a brief 2-1 lead.

The Kings fell to 3-4-0 in their last seven games and have looked sluggish during the past couple of weeks. Saturday was their 24th game in 50 days, and coach Terry Murray said the schedule is an obstacle the Kings have to deal with.

"We've played a lot, traveled a lot, been to the East Coast a couple times, so it's going to take a toll," Murray said. "I say that, but that's the way it is. That's the way it is. You've got to deal with that part of the game, play intelligently and manage the puck properly. The travel, and the number of games you play, really has nothing to do with turning the puck over in the middle of the ice.''

Iginla started the scoring by gathering a pass from Olli Jokinen in the neutral zone at center and wristing a shot from just inside the Los Angeles blue line that clipped the skate of Kings defenseman Sean O'Donnell and beat Quick.

"You always hope for those, they don't happen very often first shift," Iginla said. "I was just trying to us him as a screen, I didn't even see it go in. Scoring that early we were all pretty excited. Especially after a tough last game, to have an early start like that, in an afternoon game, was a big boost."

Frolov, skating on the Kings' top line while Ryan Smyth is sidelined by an upper-body injury, had gone 10 games without a goal before swiping in a rebound in the second period to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead, just 38 seconds after Doughty had tied the game. But Iginla's second goal got the Flames even entering the third period.

"We had a 2-1 lead and they came back and tied it, we had 25 shots maybe, but not too many good scoring chances," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "That is the result of players not playing hard and not playing together."

Anze Kopitar, who leads the NHL in scoring, had an assist on the goal. After averaging more than a point per game in his first 20 games this season, Kopitar has just three assists and no goals in his last five games.

Langkow's shorthanded goal 7:22 into the third period was the backbreaker, and the Flames scored twice more to put the game away.

"We didn't have a lot of energy," Brown said. "`It's irrelevant why we didn't have it. We need to bring energy, especially in critical games."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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