Flames Game Day

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

TONIGHT, 7:30 P.M. SADDLEDOME TV: SPORTSNET RADIO: FAN 960

COMING IN

The Flames were blanked 4-0 by the Wild Friday in Minnesota.

The Kings thumped the Phoenix Coyotes 6-1 Saturday.

LOS ANGELES KINGS (32-35-11)

CALGARY FLAMES (44-28-6)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Kings are as good as any team for the Flames to face and keep their Northwest Division title hopes alive. Calgary has won all three meetings this season by a combined 11-4 score and claimed nine of the last 10 games.

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 17.9% (61-340, 19th); Los Angeles 19.5% (68-349, T-11th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 83.3% (6th); Los Angeles 83% (T-7th).

INJURIES

FLAMES -- D Adrian Aucoin (upper body) could play. D Robyn Regehr (lower body), D Cory Sarich (lower body), LW Andre Roy (hand), LW Rene Bourque (ankle), D Mark Giordano (shoulder), C Wayne Primeau (foot), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out.

KINGS -- C Jarret Stoll (groin) and D Kyle Quincey (back) are out.

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

WILL CALGARY'S POWERPLAY SCORE AGAIN? -- It has to, eventually, but exactly when is a big question. The Flames have been skunked with the man-advantage in the last six games and are on a miserable zero-for-25 slump. Lately, they haven't created much for scoring chances or even built momentum to leave opposing teams worried about taking penalties.

EMOTIONAL BOOST -- The Vancouver Canucks loss to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday was a huge boost to Calgary's Northwest Division title chances. A win tonight and tomorrow in Vancouver would put the Flames ahead of the Canucks in the standings and give them more wins than the Canucks can muster -- the first tiebreaker should they end up with equal points.

IGGY AND OLLI MAGIC -- In the first six games, Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen combined for 17 points (Iginla 3-4-7; Jokinen 8-2-10). However, the top-line duo currently skating with Todd Bertuzzi has been pretty much kept off the board, Iginla has just two goals and five points, while Jokinen has netted only three assists. The Kings are a good team for the pair to find some offence.

PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...

FLAMES

LW Michael Cammalleri -- The team's leading goal scorer has sputtered since reaching a career high in goals a couple of weeks ago. Cammalleri hasn't scored in the last six games, which has him stuck at 36.

The good news for Calgary is he'll likely have a little bit more motivation facing his old team.

Twenty-five of his tallies have been netted at the Saddledome.

KINGS

G Jonathan Quick -- The 23-year-old rookie netminder wasn't supposed to be in the NHL this season, but when Jason LaBarbera was traded to Vancouver in December, the Kings turned to him and received all they could hope for.

Quick has started 29 of the last 33 games and has an impressive goals-against average (2.54), 19 wins, four shutouts and a .911 save percentage.

IT'S WORTH NOTING ...

The Flames may receive a boost from D Adrian Aucoin. The veteran missed last game due to an undisclosed "upper body injury) but was in practice and will probably play.

PHANEUF GETS SHORT BREAK

D Dion Phaneuf didn't take part in the skate, but head coach Mike Keenan said he'll play. He skated nearly 29 minutes in the 4-0 loss to Minnesota.

BOURQUE, ROY SKATING

LW Rene Bourque and LW Andre Roy skated before their teammates, while D Robyn Regehr and D Cory Sarich didn't skate.

KIPPER NOT TUCKERED OUT YET

G Miikka Kiprusoff was asked whether he's feeling fatigued having played so many games. His reply: "I've been asked that question the whole year, but I'm fine. Thanks for asking." Head coach Mike Keenan was asked whether back-up netminder Curtis McElhinney will see time over the final four games, and said: "It depends what happens."

IGGY'S BIG YEAR FOR HELPERS

Flames captain Jarome Iginla needs three assists to give him 56 on the season, which would be a new career high. However, the team's leading point producer needs two goals over the final four games to prevent this season from being his worst in that department since 2000-01, when he scored 31 times.

ROOKIE DOUGHTY SHINES

Quietly, Kings D Drew Doughty, the second overall pick in last summer's draft, has put together an excellent rookie season and is probably the NHL's best freshman defenceman. He leads all rookies -- and the Kings -- with nearly 24 minutes of ice time on average and has played at least 20 minutes in 73 of 77 games this season (25-plus minutes in 34 games and a season-high 29:04 Nov. 22 vs. Colorado). His 27 points this season is most among rookie blueliners.


Videos

Photos