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Kings aim to make it eight in a row vs. Flames

by Sean McCullen

KINGS (37-22-6) at FLAMES (25-32-7)


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

Season series: The Los Angeles Kings will look to even the season series against the Calgary Flames in the fourth of five games between the Pacific Division teams. Calgary won the first two games, each at Staples Center. Los Angeles won 2-0 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 27, when captain Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist to support Jonathan Quick, who earned the shutout with his 25-save performance.

Big story: The Kings are the hottest team in the NHL, winners of a season-high seven straight, including all six games after the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Although solid defense and goaltending remain the foundations to the Kings' success, they've also rediscovered their offensive touch since the break ended. Los Angeles had scored 20 goals in six games; it scored seven goals in the six games before the break. Jeff Carter has led the way with four goals, including two in a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Team Scope:

Kings: Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens, who played with Los Angeles the first three months this season, kept the game close until the midway point of the second period, but the Kings pulled away with two goals in under 90 seconds. Defenseman Alec Martinez gave L.A. the lead at 8:49 of the second before Carter scored his second of the game at 10:16 to extend the Kings' advantage to 3-1.

The Kings outshot the Flames 50-27 after outshooting the Winnipeg Jets 41-18 in a 3-1 win Thursday.

"We try to grind teams down in the offensive zone and cycle the puck and hold on to it and generate opportunities that way. … Coming out of the break here, that was one focus we had was to get a lot more shots," Martinez told Fox Sports West after the game Sunday. "Obviously, we were struggling with scoring beforehand. You can't score without shooting the puck. It's cliché, but it's true."

Quick is one win shy of tying Rogie Vachon for the franchise record for wins (171).

Flames: Calgary is 3-3-0 after the Olympic break following a 2-1 road loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

The Flames have dressed eight rookies each of their past two games, including goalie Joni Ortio, who is 2-2-0 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .916 save percentage, and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon, who earned his first NHL point in his second game with an assist on Brian McGrattan's goal from center ice against Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack.

Coach Bob Hartley compared Wotherspoon to fellow rookie Sean Monahan, who leads the Flames with 19 goals.

"You talk to [Wotherspoon] and you talk to Sean Monahan and maybe in the family tree, they are cousins somewhere," Hartley said, according to The Calgary Sun. "They show poise, they are real easy-going, they don't get overly excited and they're fun to work with. I'm looking for good things for Spooner."

The Flames announced Sunday that center Matt Stajan is on a leave of absence following the death of his newborn son March 3. Stajan has missed the past four games.

Who's hot: Martinez has three goals in the past four games for the Kings. Center Mike Richards has two goals the past four games. … Flames defenseman Mark Giordano has six points (one goal) and center Joe Colborne has five points (three goals) in the past five games.

Injury report: Calgary goalie Karri Ramo (knee) and left wing Curtis Glencross (ankle) are on injured reserve. Defenseman Dennis Wideman (upper body) and center Jiri Hudler (lower body) are day-to-day after each missed the past two games. Right wing Kevin Westgarth (concussion) is day-to-day after missing the past four games. Right wing David Jones (shoulder) is out 3-4 weeks.

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