Flames vs. Kings Preview

Derek Leung

This game is pointless, but gosh darn it if it isn't gonna be played anyway.

The Flames won the first two matchups of the season with last-minute goals Then the Kings fought back, winning the next two games. This one is for the season series! How exciting.

Calgary is locked into the bottom of the league. L.A. is locked into third place in the Pacific Division. Really, the only thing this game can do is possibly affect the Flames' draft position. So... go Kings?

Calgary Flames (34-38-7, 6th in the Pacific Division)

With three games left, the only real focus left for the fanbase is the draft. The Flames can pick as high as fourth overall, but they need the Islanders to actually win some games, and they need to lose a little more themselves.

The Flames have won their last three games, which is rather unfortunate timing. Karri Ramo is a large part of that, playing exceptionally well as of late. He posted a .969 SV% against the Lightning, stopping 31 of their 32 shots, and shutout the Devils in their 31 shot effort. Basically what I'm saying is the Kings should apparently try to get more than 31 shots on net.

Mike Cammalleri keeps scoring, because of course he does. He has a three-game point streak he'll be looking to extend tonight.

Matt Stajan and Paul Byron will rejoin the Flames tonight, allowing for a lineup that looks slightly more NHL caliber. Ben Hanowski and Kenny Agostino are expected to sit, but they've frequently been scratches in their time with the Flames anyway, so it isn't unexpected. Agostino is still just out of college, and Hanowski, uh... is probably not going to be a regular NHLer.

Los Angeles Kings (45-28-6, 3rd in the Pacific Division)

The Kings are going to be facing either the Sharks or the Ducks in the first round of the playoffs. They don't have a choice in the matter: all they can really do is sit back, wait, and try to close the season out on a high note. They'll be looking to do that by getting back in the win column after losing their last two games: most recently, and shamefully, to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Kings are, uh, significantly better than the Flames. If you look at the Kings' player usage chart, well... basically everyone is in the blue. They've had a FF% close above 50% almost the entire season. Really, it's amazing the Flames managed to get two wins against this team.

Marian Gaborik is a point per game in his last seven games, so he seems to be fitting in nicely with the Kings after a slow start.

For more on the Kings, be sure to visit Jewels From The Crown - and be sure to join us here at Matchsticks and Gasoline at puck drop for the GameThread!

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