It was just five days ago when we saw Darryl Sutter’s LA Kings come in and snap a winning streak, taking a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. Now with seven points seperating them in the Western Conference, the Flames hope to close the gap tonight when they continue a three game roadtrip at the Staples Center (8:30 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960).
Calgary played a pretty decent games all things considered Tuesday night in San Jose, doing a fairly nice job limiting the powerhouse Sharks. That blueprint of frustrating high end opponents is as good a one the Flames are going to be able to execute, and with a red hot Kings team tonight, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to do again. While LA might be out of reach in terms of catching them, Calgary needs two points against whoever the opponent is.
No Curtis Glencross tonight for the Flames, as he’s back in Calgary having his knee injury evaluated. Head Coach Brent Sutter hinted at his injury being "week-to-week" as opposed to "day-to-day", which obviously ins’t good for a desperate Calgary team. For my money, Glencross has been the best skater on this team since day one, with Olli Jokinen right there along with him. I’m not sure how the Flames are going to compensate for this one.
It sounds like Matt Stajan will return to the lineup tonight after missing 14 games with a lower body injury suffered in Chicago on December 18th. These are now the lines as it looks like the Flames will go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards once again. Roman Horak and Paul Byron will be the healthy scratches.
Mike Cammalleri-Mikael Backlund-Jarome Iginla
Blake Comeau-Olli Jokinen-Tim Jackman
Tom Kostopoulos-Blair Jones-Lee Stempniak
Lance Bouma-Matt Stajan
Jay Bouwmeester-Chris Butler
Mark Giordano-Scott Hannan
T.J. Brodie-Cory Sarich
Miikka Kiprusoff gets the start in net.
We did a nice write-up on Darryl Sutter’s Kings prior to Saturday’s meeting in Calgary, so it would be a little redundant to go too far in depth on them again. Fact is, LA is playing their best hockey of the season and they sit 8-1-5 since Darryl took over behind the bench. Their latest win came over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, an impressive 3-2 shootout win over one of the top squads in the Western Conference.
Dustin Brown-Anze Kopitar-Justin Williams
Dustin Penner-Mike Richards-Jarret Stoll
Brad Richardson-Andrei Loktionov-Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford-Colin Fraser-Trent Hunter
Rob Scuderi-Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell-Slava Voynov
Jack Johnson-Matt Greene
Sounds like Jonathan Quick will get the start in net tonight, although there’s a chance it might be Jonathan Bernier as Quick has been a workhorse as of late. Again, we’ll confirm when more is known.
The story really doesn’t change for the Flames at this point; they got some good news last night as the Coyotes got crushed by Anaheim, however the bad news saw Colorado come from behind to beat the Florida Panthers in overtime last night. Once again, relying on help from the outside isn’t really a smart move at this point, so it’s all on the Calgary to scratch and claw for as many points as they can possibly find.