The Calgary Flames are looking to get back into the win column as they take on the Los Angeles Kings. The Flames are coming off of an incredibly controversial loss against the Dallas Stars that they lost in overtime on what probably should have been a goaltender interference call. That was a schedule loss for the Stars and the Flames probably shouldn’t have let it get to that point, but it was still bitter nonetheless.
The Kings are considerably worse than the Stars. They’re tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the worst goal differential at -23. They have no offense, their goaltending has been lackluster, and their puck possession game is absolute rubbish - all things that lead to an awful lot of losses. They’re tied with the St. Louis Blues for fewest points and have two more games played than them. They are almost unarguably the worst team in the league - this is not a game that first place teams should lose.
Mike Smith is in net tonight. Smith played better than he had for most of the season in his last contest against the Arizona Coyotes, but he’s still got the second worst delta save percentage in five-on-five situations of any goalies with at least ten starts this season. If the Kings somehow win this one, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was because of a Smith stinker and the decision to start Smith is curious since the Flames have rest in between their starts - hopefully this isn’t the team taking the Kings lightly.
Speaking of curious decisions and taking the Kings lightly, Ryan Lomberg is in for Dillon Dube who was sent down. Lomberg has just two primary points in five-on-five play in 18 AHL games this season while being out for 11 goals against. That he has a spot on the team is pathetic enough - that he’s playing is an entirely different story. Andrew Mangiapane and Dalton Prout will be healthy scratches.
The Flames should win this contest, but questionable lineup decisions indicate that they might be taking their opponents a wee bit lightly. Hopefully the decisions don’t come back to bite them. Game time is at 9:00 P.M. M.S.T.