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Kings shut down Flames in 3-1 win

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Los Angeles Kings looked like anything but a team playing its second game in as many nights with a backup goaltender between the pipes.

Just 24 hours after dispatching the Oilers 3-1 in Edmonton, Jonathan Bernier and the Kings swept Alberta by beating the Calgary Flames 3-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

Bernier, making just his third start of the season, stopped 26 shots while Jeff Carter scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season as part of a two-point night to give the Kings (7-6-2) back-to-back wins for the third time this season.

"That was definitely a good road game especially coming in at two o'clock in the morning and have to get up," said Anze Kopitar, who set up Dustin Brown for the game's first goal. "We had a good start and that's what we wanted, and I thought our pace of play was pretty good throughout. We didn't have too many breakdowns, but it's going to happen. They have skilled players that are going to make good plays. Bernie was able to be there for us."

The Kings have played 11 of 15 games on the road, but are home for eight of their next nine.

"It's going to be nice to be at home a little bit too now," Kopitar said. "They are no gimmies either. We all know that. We've got to come home prepared and ready to go."

The Kings showed little sign of fatigue out of the gate. They pumped six shots on Calgary goaltender Joey MacDonald in the first five minutes, then found the back of the net on their seventh. Kopitar circled the net, popped out the other side and found Dustin Brown alone in the slot. Brown rifled the puck over MacDonald's blocker to make it 1-0 just 6:15 into the game.

The goal woke Calgary up, at least temporarily.

Swarming the crease with Bernier sprawling, Michael Cammalleri couldn't get the puck in the air enough to put it over the arm of the Kings' goaltender with 7:19 remaining in the period.

But the Flames made good on their next scoring chance. Jarome Iginla fended off Jarret Stoll behind the net and fed the puck to TJ Brodie in the high slot. Brodie had time to skate in from the point and rip a low shot that beat Bernier to the blocker side at 14:51 to tie the game 1-1.

"I've had chances so it's nice to get that out of the way," Brodie said.

The tie lasted just 29 seconds. Trevor Lewis corralled Carter's rebound and put the puck under the crossbar for his first of the season to make it 2-1 heading into the first intermission.

"I didn't see it go in," Lewis said. "I thought actually Richards touched it, so I didn't get as good of a celebration as I would have liked, but it still feels great to get the goose egg off."

Neither team scored in the second period, but not for a lack of effort from the Kings.

With Chris Butler serving a holding penalty midway through the period, MacDonald made three of his 12 second period saves during the Kings' power play. He made his best stop with 4:21 remaining, turning aside Kopitar on the doorstep after a feed from Brown to send the game into the third period 2-1.

After the Kings killed off an early tripping penalty to Justin Williams, Carter and the Kings put the game away at 9:27 of the final period. Mike Richards spotted Carter in the slot, and Carter -- who scored the game-winner in Edmonton -- beat MacDonald to give L.A. a two-goal lead.

"You never know if you're going to need it or not," Carter said of his insurance goal. "It could've been a totally different game if that one doesn't go in. It's a big goal, having a two-goal lead. I don't want to say it makes you more comfortable, but it's a little easier on yourself."

The Kings forced MacDonald to be sharp before Bernier turned away the Flames on a chance to get back into the game with seven minutes remaining, robbing Cammalleri point-blank in the slot after a pass from behind the net. Bernier also stopped late power-play shots by Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester.

The saves were two of 12 made by Bernier over the final 20 minutes of the game.

"We've got two pretty damn good goalies there," Carter said, referring to Bernier and starter Jonathan Quick, who got the win in Edmonton. "We're comfortable with either goalie in net. They've both done a great job for us. It's all good."

Flames coach Bob Hartley wasn't happy with what he saw.

"We need to find a way to be a more responsible team in our own zone," Hartley said. "We have a great bunch of guys but we're not playing tough enough."

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