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Lucic, Quick help Kings handle Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Milan Lucic scored, and Jonathan Quick made 23 saves to help the Los Angeles Kings defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Marian Gaborik, Andy Andreoff and Tanner Pearson also had goals for the Kings (24-11-2), who swept a four-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents. Los Angeles plays five of its next six games at home.

"You look at this road trip being a tough road trip," Lucic said. "It's all divisional teams. Now with the way the standings go, the divisional games, there's a lot more emphasis on them in getting those two points. To be able to come out this with eight out of eight points is something that we really needed to do to keep moving ourselves up the standings and pushing the teams down below us."

Defenseman Mark Giordano scored for the Flames (17-18-2). After setting a record with 11 consecutive wins at home, Calgary has lost back-to-back games at the Saddledome for the first time since Oct. 17 and Oct. 20. The Flames visit the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday before starting a four-game homestand.

"Those are the kinds of games you've got to expect down the stretch," Giordano said. "They're going to clog everything up, they're going to play really well defensively. Anaheim did it to us. [Los Angeles] did it to us. We've got to manage the game better. We got down three goals, and it's too good of a team. I know we've done it before and we've come back and we can. We've done it, but it's not going to happen every time and you saw tonight, we just couldn't find a way to get that second one."

Gaborik scored 11:04 into the first period to put the Kings up 1-0. Off the rush, Gaborik cut into the slot and sent a quick shot along the ice that beat Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo to the far side.

"I just tried to cut in front," Gaborik said. "I saw there was traffic so I just tried to shoot blocker-side. I was kind of fortunate. I don't think he saw much. I think [Drew Shore] was driving the net and creating traffic so he didn't see much."

Quick made an outstretched toe save 33 seconds into the game to keep the Flames from an early lead. Sam Bennett had a breakaway on the opening shift but couldn't beat the Quick with a deke.

Los Angeles stretched the lead to 3-0 early in the second period.

Tyler Toffoli's initial shot and rebound attempt by Anze Kopitar were stopped by Ramo, but Lucic poked the puck over the goal line on the Kings' third try 1:46 into the period. The goal ended a 10-game scoreless drought for Lucic.

"We were able to get a 2-on-1 in front of the net and just kind of power it in," Lucic said. "We were able to get a change in the [offensive] zone and get some tired guys and we made the most of it."

Andreoff ended his 10-game drought 1:18 later, one-timing a pass by Michael Mersch from below the goal line between Ramo's legs.

"Being able to get that first goal, and jumping on that and getting that second goal and third goal and extending the lead … you look at the last three games in Western Canada, we were able to get goals in bunches and get the momentum and sustain it after that," Lucic said.

With room to Quick's left, TJ Brodie one-timed a pass from David Jones, but Lucic got his stick in the way to deflect the puck wide with 2:36 remaining in the period to keep Calgary scoreless.

"I was joking [it was] my first save of my career," Lucic said. "It was just a good stick in a good area. [Quick] was appreciative of it. Obviously he bails us out all the time, so it was nice to bail him out there. If it's 3-1 going into the third period it could be a completely different game. A lucky play that ends up being a big play in the game … just fortunate to help him out."

Giordano scored 3:36 into the third period when his shot from the point deflected off the stick of Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and over Quick's glove to make it 3-1. The goal was Calgary's first in 105:36; the Flames were shut out 1-0 by the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Quick stopped Dougie Hamilton cutting into the slot at 8:04 and made a glove save off Micheal Ferland's wrist shot from the slot at 8:46. Joe Colborne hit the post on a power play at 14:35.

"You look at the goals against, I think Quick was our best player on this four-game road trip," Lucic said. "He gives us a chance to win every night. Tonight he stepped up big especially in the third period when we needed him the most."

Pearson scored into an empty net with 43.9 seconds remaining.

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