SUN Hockey Pool

Flames missing extra zip

Kings Justin Williams, centre, goes for a puck near Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and defenceman...

Kings Justin Williams, centre, goes for a puck near Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and defenceman Mark Giordano last night. (Ric Tapia/QMI agency)

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- No winning conclusion to the longest road trip of the season.

Not that it wasn't there for the taking.

The Calgary Flames weren't at their sharpest in the finale of a six-game road swing across the U.S., and because of it fell 2-1 to the Los Angeles Kings last night.

Many aspects of their game was on the mark -- especially considering it's the last game of a long and arduous trip and they took a big hit on the blueline before puck drop -- but the Flames couldn't find that last bit to win for a fifth time on the journey.

"Our powerplay had opportunities to get it done," said captain Jarome Iginla.

"You've got to have those in 2-1 games," Iginla said.

"It hasn't been as good as it should lately. But the rest of the game, to hold a team to 16 shots and hit some posts is good. Our powerplay let us down."

The Flames failed to score on four powerplay chances.

Calgary held the Kings to just 16 shots, and it was without top shutdown defenceman Robyn Regehr, who appeared to suffer a leg injury in the third period of Saturday night's 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Regehr took part in both the morning skate and the pre-game session, but was a late scratch.

Head coach Brent Sutter said keeping Regehr out was precautionary.

Staffan Kronwall was inserted into the lineup for the first time in 17 games.

"You just have to step up when top players are out," said defenceman Mark Giordano.

"We did some good things tonight, they won the special teams battle -- that was the difference, but we didn't give up too many shots. There are some positives, but we have to find a way to win those ones."

Calgary falls to 18-8-3. The Flames only surrendered eight goals during their six-game trek, but lost twice, both by 2-1 scores.

"You only give up 16 shots against, so it was pretty good on that side, but we needed our powerplay to win the game," Sutter said.

"I should say our special teams, the penalty kill got scored on for the winning goal and they scored on the end of another one, the first goal.

"It's a tough loss. You feel you did a couple of things better, you could have won a game."

Jarret Stoll's second-period powerplay tally was the difference. Scott Parse also scored for the Kings (18-10-3).

Curtis Glencross replied for Calgary, which falls one point behind the Colorado Avalanche in the Northwest Division standings, albeit with three games in hand.

The Flames also lost centre Craig Conroy early in the third period after a collision with Kings forward Oscar Moller.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 26 shots, and also had a couple of pucks ring off the post.

"We're disappointed we didn't win, but it was a good trip," Iginla said.

"We had some tough building and every team is competitive. The last game before you go home, sometimes you focus can not be there, but I thought it was there. We played a solid game.

"Similar games to this, we've won ... It's disappointing we didn't end it on the right note and make it 5-1."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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