Game Preview: Flames vs Los Angeles Kings

CALGARY FLAMES (21-20-6 48 points) vs. L.A KINGS (23-15-9 55 points) GAME #48

 

PREVIEW:

What a difference five days makes, on Saturday the Flames hosted the Kings sitting only 3 points behind them. After a 4-1 loss, the Flames now travel to LA tonight for their second game of a three game road trip now sitting 7 points back. The Flames only played one game since that meeting, losing to the Sharks 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday night. Watching the game, I thought the Flames played really well as no one really gave them a chance heading into San Jose where they have struggled in recent visits. I thought they moved their feet really well and were good at both ends of the ice. Stellar goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff was once again the forefront while the line of Jarome Iginla, Mikael Backlund and Mike Cammalleri was the Flames best.

Offense is the Flames’ obvious down fall and it won’t get any easier tonight as leading goal scorer, Curtis Glencross was sent home after the game with a lower body injury. More pressure will be put on Iggy, Backlund and Cammalleri to provide that offense but if they play the way they did against the Sharks, it is only a matter of time before pucks end up in the net.

Another area of concern for the Flames is their road record (8-14-4) as they are currently on a 6 game losing streak. Why the team struggles on the road, no one can really figure out. The Flames have a good mix of youth and veterans in their line-up right now and with the way they play at home, playing on the road shouldn’t be as hard as it’s been. I think the Flames need to start competing harder and play a simple game on the road much like they did Tuesday night against the Sharks.

The Kings are one of the hotter teams in the league with a 5-1-4 record in their last ten but much like the Flames they have struggled scoring goals. Both teams are at the bottom of the league in goals per game as the Kings sit 30th (2.15) while the Flames sit 27th (2.36).

Looking at all those stats, tonight’s game should be a low scoring one and if I were a betting man I would bet under on the 5.5 over/under line. Both teams rely heavily on their goaltenders, which when your respective goaltenders are Kiprusoff and Jonathan Quick, there isn’t anything wrong with that. In Saturday’s meeting, the Flames simply didn’t play a 60 minute game and saw their 8-game home winning streak snapped. I expect Iginla’s line to provide some offense but with the Flames injuries to both Glencross and Alex Tanguay, players like Blake Comeau and Lee Stempniak really have to pick up their game and provide that secondary scoring. Also of note is the Flames light schedule, they only play 5 games in the next 19 days and really have to take advantage of it. It’s only going to get tougher as they now sit 4 points out of the playoffs.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                                    Kings:

1-CAMMALLERI-BACKLUND-IGINLA                                      1-BROWN-KOPITAR-WILLIAMS

2-JACKMAN-JOKINEN-COMEAU                                            2-PENNER-RICHARDS-STOLL

3-KOSTOPOULOS-JONES-STEMPNIAK                                3-CLIFFORD-FRASER-HUNTER

4-BOUMA-STAJAN-HORAK                                                     4-RICHARDSON-LOKTIONOV-LEWIS

 

1-BOUWMEESTER-BUTLER                                                    1-SCUDERI-DOUGHTY

2-GIORDANO-SARICH                                                             2-JOHNSON-GREENE

3-BRODIE-HANNAN                                                                  3-MITCHELL-VOYNOV

 

1-KIPRUSOFF                                                                           1-QUICK

2-IRVING                                                                                   2-BERNIER

EXTRA- CARSON, BYRON, BABCHUK                                  EXTRA- DREWISKE, WESTGARTH

          

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Curtis Glencross (Lower Body), C- Brendan Morrison (Undisclosed- IR), LW- Alex Tanguay (Upper Body- IR), C- David Moss (Lower Body-IR), D- Derek Smith (Ankle-IR), G- Henrik Karlsson (Knee-IR)

Kings: LW- Simon Gagne (Concussion- IR), LW- Scott Parse (Lower Body- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

J. Iginla

47

17

20

37

-3

O. Jokinen

47

12

23

35

-4

C. Glencross

43

18

15

33

-4

M. Cammalleri

40

10

13

23

-7

A. Tanguay

33

5

17

22

-3

 

Kings

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

A. Kopitar

47

14

29

43

-1

J. Williams

47

9

22

31

4

M. Richards

39

14

12

26

3

D. Brown

47

12

13

25

3

J. Johnson

47

7

13

20

-7

 

PP-

Flames: 17.1% (19th)

Kings: 15.0% (20th)

 

PK-

Flames: 82.4% (17th)

Kings: 87.3% (3rd)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

WINS

LOSSES

OTL

POINTS

1. CHICAGO

47

28

13

6

62

2. VANCOUVER

47

58

15

4

60

3. SAN JOSE

43

26

12

5

57

4. DETROIT

46

30

15

1

61

5. ST. LOUIS

45

27

12

6

60

6. NASHVILLE

46

26

16

4

56

7. L.A

47

23

15

9

55

8. COLORADO

48

25

21

2

52

 

9. MINNESOTA

46

22

17

7

51

10. DALLAS

45

24

19

2

50

11. PHOENIX

47

21

19

7

49

12. CALGARY

47

21

20

6

48

13. ANAHEIM

45

16

22

7

39

14.EDMONTON

45

17

24

4

38

15. COLUMBUS

45

13

27

5

31

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Matt Stajan should return to the line-up tonight after missing 14 games with an ankle injury.
  • The Flames have only scored 9 goals on their current 6 game road losing streak
  • The Kings have beaten the Flames in their last three meetings at the Staples Centre, all by 2-1 margins.
  • Jonathan Quick has posted a 1.44 GAA during the Kings current winning streak against the Flames.
  • Brent Sutter needs 1 win to reach 200 for his career.
  • Miikka Kiprusoff is 5 games away from becoming the Flames franchise leader in games played for a goaltender.
  • Kings’ Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams each have 7 points since the Kings last regulation loss on January 7th.
  • The Kings are 8-1-5 since Darryl Sutter took over behind the bench for Terry Murray.