Flames look to slow down red hot Kings on TSN

The Sports Network

12/17/2009 10:49:59 AM

(Sports Network) - Two teams currently headed in opposite directions will go head-to-head tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome, where the slumping Calgary Flames play host to the surging Los Angeles Kings. 

Catch the game on TSN as the back-end of our NHL on TSN double-header.  The action gets underway with the Montreal Canadiens and the Minnesota Wild at 7pm et/4pm pt.  Both games are available on TSNHD.

The upstart Kings have compiled an excellent 8-1-1 record over their last 10 games and now stand atop the Western Conference with a total of 47 points. Included in that outstanding stretch was a 2-1 victory over the Flames at the Staples Center on December 7, which stopped a five-game losing streak for Los Angeles in this series.

The Kings kept up their winning ways with Tuesday's 3-2 triumph in Edmonton, in which Sean O'Donnell scored the tie-breaking goal with 4:22 remaining, the veteran defenseman's first tally since December 22, 2007.

Brad Richardson and Dustin Brown each had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, while Jonathan Quick stopped 27-of-29 shots in another solid performance between the pipes.

"We came in and knew [the Oilers] were playing well and did just enough to win," said O'Donnell. "I think it's been a shot in the arm that we've been doing a good job in these types of games this year."

The Kings, who improved to 12-7-1 on the road for the season, will now take aim at their first victory in Calgary since December 21, 2005. The Flames have beaten Los Angeles seven consecutive times in the Saddledome, and have won 11 of the past 13 overall meetings between the teams as well.

Los Angeles will likely be trying to end its drought at the Saddledome without the services of center Jarret Stoll, the team's second-leading goal scorer (10) who's dealing with a groin injury that kept him out of Tuesday's win. In addition, defenseman Jack Johnson left the Edmonton game in the second period after taking a puck off his ankle and is uncertain to play tonight.

The Flames return home tonight off back-to-back road defeats at Colorado and St. Louis and have lost three in a row overall, matching the club's longest slide of the season. Calgary was last in action on Tuesday, dropping a 4-3 verdict to the Blues on T.J. Oshie's goal with 4:58 left to play.

"It was a good game and we had some good scoring chances," said Calgary captain Jarome Iginla. "Unfortunately, they raised their level of play in the third period and we didn't do so."

St. Louis outshot the Flames by a 10-4 margin in the final period.

Rene Bourque, Daymond Langkow and Dustin Boyd had the goals for Calgary, which fell to 2-4-1 for the month of December. Reserve goaltender Curtis McElhinney allowed four goals on 34 shots in the loss.

The Flames start up a four-game homestand this evening and own an 8-5-1 record as the host this season.