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Preview: Calgary Flames @ LA Kings 4/6/17 (81/82)

The Flames and Kings meet for the final time this season and it should be interesting considering their last meeting.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames @ LA Kings, 8:30 PM MT, Staples Center, Los Angeles CA
Broadcast Schedule
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames roll into LA for the second to last game of their regular season Thursday night. The last 2 weeks have been semi-grueling for Calgary as they’ve had to grind through the best of the best in the West. And when they haven’t been facing the best, those teams have been beating up on the Flames. Calgary has dropped 3 out of their last 4, starting with a 4-1 blowout loss to the LA Kings last Wednesday. The good news for the Flames is they are in the playoffs. The bad news is they’re looking confused and playing a style of hockey lately that doesn’t fit them. The Flames are pushing back at the tough guys out West, but they tend to over do it, lose their focus and end up in a street fight which doesn’t suit their skill set.

The Kings were eliminated from the playoffs with a 2-1 loss to Arizona on Sunday. It’s bad enough to be eliminated from the playoffs, but it’s worse when it’s the Coyotes who do the deed. With that said, the Kings have been playing well lately, winning 3 out of their last 5.

This is the final meeting of these two Pacific Division rivals on the season and if this game is anything like the last contest, it’s going to be ugly. The Kings took it to Matthew Tkachuk all night after his elbow on Drew Doughty and the game was contentious right from warm ups. Maybe this game will be a little more civilized as LA is done for the season and the Flames have clinched a spot in the playoffs. OR, maybe LA just doesn’t care and comes out and plays the way they did in the last game and that could mean a long night for the Flames. Calgary will be without backup goaltender Chad Johnson as he went back to Calgary to be evaluated for an injury he suffered in the opening period Tuesday night against Anaheim. Jon Gillies has been called up from Stockton to backup Brian Elliott. Calgary and LA have split the season series so far at 2-2.

Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Los Angeles Kings
44-32-4 Record 38-34-7
92 Points 83
4th Pacific Division 5th Pacific
7th West Conference 9th West
2-3-0 Last 5 3-2-0
217 Goals For 192
215 Goals Against 191
Monahan (27) Goals Carter (32)
Gaudreau (61) Points Carter (62)
Tkachuk (105) PIM Clifford (92)
Elliott (.910) Save % Quick (.922)
20.2 (10th) PP% 19.0 (20th)
81.6 (11th) PK% 84.7 (3rd)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Player Record GAA Save %
Flames: Elliott (E) 26-17-3 2.55 .910
Kings: Quick (E) 7-5-1 2.15 .922

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 Anaheim Ducks 3

Calgary last took to the ice on Tuesday night and played 2 periods of very good hockey and then they let the Ducks play like the Ducks. The 3rd period was a nightmare, penalty filled, garbage fest. Calgary fell behind 2-1 and Anaheim did what they do best: play on the edge, get under your skin and get you in trouble. And that is just what happened. Calgary picked up 15 penalties in the final 5 minutes to the tune of 76 minutes. Unacceptable. Here’s our recap and the highlights.

LA Kings 6 Edmonton Oilers 4

LA took down the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night 6-4, winning their third game in 4 tries. Drew Shore had a 4 point night, netting a goal and grabbing 3 helpers in LA’s win. Jewels From The Crown has the recap and provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk (F). It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Tkachuk or what he does in this game. He came out swinging last week and took his medicine from the Kings. What it did was get Tkachuk off his game. The 19 year old needs to settle in and do what he does best: be a pest, sit in front of the crease and dish the puck. If he can shake off the last game against LA, he should be fine. In 4 games against LA Tkachuk has 0 points and 11 PIM.

LA Kings

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Anze Kopitar (C). Kopitar has a pedestrian 3 points in his last 5, but 2 of those came in LA’s 4-1 win over the Flames. He grabbed a goal and an assist to up his season total to 4 points against Calgary. LA has had trouble scoring this year, but Kopitar has done well for himself at Staples Center. 29 of his 49 points on the season have come at home.