Flames flop in final frame

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Despite winning three straight coming into Calgary, the Los Angeles Kings weren't given much of a chance against the Flames last night.

The Flames suffered a disappointing 5-4 loss in Edmonton Monday and were intent on shutting down a potent Kings' offence. Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is known for bouncing back after poor performances.

And, to top it all off, former Flame Craig Conroy came down with the flu yesterday and was forced to delay his Calgary debut in purple and black.

But the Kings made the best of their chances and scored five straight to extend their winning streak with a 5-2 win at the Saddledome in front of 19,289.

Kings goalie Mathieu Garon wasn't spectacular on the night but his consistency paid off. He finished with 27 saves in the win.

Flames defender Rhett Warrener was puzzled as to why his team has struggled to hold onto their leads this week.

"I'm a little lost right now as to what the answer is," said Warrener. "I think we just come out hard and play a fairly good 20 minutes. After that, again, the effort kind of died down. The brain fell asleep and we were starting to scramble. They just stuck to their game. That's what we were doing a few weeks ago and we've got to get back to it real quick.

"It's very uncharacteristic of this team."

Down 2-1, a pair of quick goals a little more than four minutes into the third period gave the Kings their first lead of the game.

Michael Cammalleri scored his second of the night from a sharp angle when the puck bounced off a Flames defender and past Kiprusoff.

Seconds later, winger Jeff Giuliano tipped a fluttering shot by Tom Kostopoulos past Kiprusoff, who finished with 13 saves.

The Kings' top scorer Pavol Demitra added some insurance with his 18th of the year before Kostopoulos added an empty netter with 1:01 left to play.

It's the third time in four games the Kings have come back to win after falling behind by two goals.

Calgary grabbed the early lead when rookie Dion Phaneuf fed Daymond Langkow the puck during a five-on-three powerplay 3:45 into the game.

With Kings forward Luc Robitaille -- who had been a healthy scratch for three straight outings -- in the penalty box for the third time late in the opening frame, the Flames again took advantage.

Phaneuf took a snapshot in close and Flames captain Jarome Iginla swatted home the rebound to put the home team up by a pair.

Then came the meltdown.

"Going into the third period with the lead, we shouldn't be giving that up," said Flames winger Matthew Lombardi.

"Obviously another goal would have helped. We've got to learn to close the deal."

Los Angeles cut its deficit in half just 1:33 into the second period when Cammalleri whipped his shot high past Kiprusoff, who couldn't see the puck through the battle between Robitaille and Phaneuf at the top of the crease.

That goal seemed to give the Kings a little confidence. Warrener said the Kings' first goal may have been the turning point.

"I think it started early in the second when they scored that goal. From there on, it didn't seem like we were in control," said Warrener. "We're not finishing. We're not having that final push to put a team away. Instead, we're maybe questioning ourselves and letting teams get back in it."

Added Langkow: "We've got to find a way to play with the lead."

They'll get that chance tomorrow night in Vancouver (8 p.m., CBC).


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