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Kings hope to keep momentum going in Calgary

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Los Angeles Kings hope to keep their post-Olympic roll going when they visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

The Kings have won seven straight dating to their final game prior to the Olympic break, the fourth-longest stretch in club history and longest since establishing a new franchise mark at nine from Jan. 21-Feb. 6, 2010.

"I think we're just back playing with confidence," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. "We had a little bit of a down slope right before the Olympics. The guys really took it upon themselves to turn things around. We were drifting out of a playoff spot. We need to get back into that. We know how good this team can be when we do get into the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs."

The stingy Kings have allowed 10 goals during the streak. More surprisingly, Los Angeles has had an offensive outburst, finding the back of the net 22 times during the run.

The spike in offense, much like the Kings' turnaround, isn't much of a surprise to coach Darryl Sutter.

"We were a high-scoring team last year," said Sutter, whose Kings also have won five straight games in Calgary. "You have to break it down into personnel. We've had two or three guys that haven't had the offensive goal-scoring type of year that they had last year. You expect them to do that and they do that.

"Jeff [Carter] led the conference in scoring last year. Mike [Richards] and [Dustin] Brown are looked on as guys that can give you goals. We didn't lose anybody that was an offensive guy so you're still counting on your guys that are used to scoring.

"To be quite honest it's not that big of deal. If you make the playoffs, playoffs are low scoring. It's not about stars, it's about teams that check well and if you score big goals, different guys get hot at different times. High-scoring teams aren't the best teams; it's the differential."

The Kings visit a Calgary team almost equally hot on home ice. The Flames have won seven of their past eight games at Scotiabank Saddledome, with their only blemish coming in a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles on Feb. 27.

Coach Bob Hartley and his team are more than aware and prepared for the challenge of the streaking Kings.

"We're playing a pressure game just like the Kings and obviously they're much bigger than us, but it doesn't matter," Hartley said. "It's the fight that we put in our game that matters. Size is one thing, but I look at [forward] Paul Byron and he has the heart of a guy who is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds."

That size matchup could get leveled a bit due to the uncertain status of Kings forward Jordan Nolan. The 6-foot-3, 221-pounder had a phone hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety regarding his punch to Edmonton Oilers left wing Jesse Joensuu during the second period Sunday at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Here are the projected lineups for the Flames and Kings:


Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Tyler Toffoli - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Tanner Pearson

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov

Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez

Martin Jones

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Matt Greene, Jordan Nolan


Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Lance Bouma

TJ Galiardi - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Max Reinhart - Markus Granlund - Paul Byron

Ben Hanowski - Corban Knight - Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Chris Butler

Ladislav Smid - Tyler Wotherspoon

Joni Ortio

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Matt Stajan

Injured: Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain), David Jones (upper body), Kevin Westgarth (upper body), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Dennis Wideman (upper body), Karri Ramo (lower body)

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