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Preview: Calgary Flames vs LA Kings 1/24/18 (48/82): Who Wants It More?

The Flames have dropped 2 straight, but LA has been much, much worse.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs LA Kings, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: SN360
Radio: Sportsnet 960

Who wants this game more? That could be the determining factor in this rather important Western Conference showdown tonight at the Saddledome. The Flames have currently dropped their last 2 games, but they have earned a point in each loss by losing in either a shoot out or in overtime. If you’re counting at home that’s 9 straight with at least a point. The Flames latest blunder came to the lowly Buffalo Sabres Monday night. The Flames once again found themselves unable to put the puck in the net, a problem it looked like they had solved during their 7 game winning streak. In the Flames last 10 losses they have only scored 13 goals, clearly a strategy that isn’t working. The Flames, despite 2 brutal straight losses are still in the playoff hunt with games in hand, even though they have less points than the 2 Wild Card teams in Dallas and Colorado.

LA meanwhile is keeping the Flames and many other teams in the playoff picture due to their miserable play as of late. The Kings have dropped 9 of their last 12, including a 6 game losing streak that started with a 4-3 loss to the Flames. Is this a sign of the Western Conference being weak or the Kings banking some points from their play early in the season? Probably a little of both. LA has scored 3 goals or less seven times this month and they’ve lost all 7. Jonathan Quick has had a rough stretch for the Kings having dropped 5 of his last 7 starts, the latest a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the Canucks.

The Flames have taken both contests this season, but they allowed the Kings to steal a point earlier in the season by beating LA in OT 4-3 back on October 11th. The Flames are an even 3-3-0 against the Kings in their last 3 trips to the Saddledome and a win tonight would give Calgary some much needed breathing room in the Pacific Division.

How They Match Up

Calgary Flames Stats LA Kings
Calgary Flames Stats LA Kings
25-16-6 Record 25-18-5
56 Points 55
3rd Pacific Division 4th Pacific
9th West Conference 10th West
3-0-2 Last 5 1-4-0
131 Goals For 135
125 Goals Against 120
Monahan (21) Goals Kopitar (18)
Gaudreau (55) Points Kopitar (48)
Brouwer (49) PIM MacDermid (57)
Rittich (.932) Save% Kuemper (.931)
18.2 (22nd) PP% 18.7 (19th)
80.5 (17th) PK% 80.5 (1st)
2-0-0 2017-18 VS 0-1-1
134-108-21 Overall VS 108-134-21

Starting Goalies (E=Expected,C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 20-13-5 2.41 .926
Kings: Kuemper (E) 5-1-3 2.21 .931

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

LA Kings Coverage: Jewels From The Crown

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 Buffalo Sabres 2 (OT)

No one wants to discuss this game ever again. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com

LA Kings 2 Vancouver Canucks 6

Calgary’s division rivals clashed on Tuesday night and the Vancouver Canucks did the Flames a solid. The Kings surrendered 6 goals and lost for the 7th time in 9 games this month. NHL.com provides the highlights for this one.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk (F). And not for the reasons you think. Sure there’s history between Chucky and the Kings, but his non-truculent play has been what’s topical lately. The Flames second year phenom has 8 points in 8 games this month, but 6 of those have come in his last 5. Also of importance, the Flames resident agitator has only collected 2 PIM in those last 5 games and has only 4 since the new year has started.

LA Kings

NHL: Nashville Predators at Los Angeles Kings Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Anze Kopitar (C). While the Kings aren’t lighting it up lately, Kopitar has been his steady self. The Yugoslavian product has 4 points in his last 5, upping his team leading point total to 48 points. In the two meetings between the Flames and Kings this season Kopitar has a goal and 2 assists.