SUN Hockey Pool

Flames end skid with win against Kings

Calgary Flames' Aaron Johnson hits Los Angeles Kings' Oscar Moller.  (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

Calgary Flames' Aaron Johnson hits Los Angeles Kings' Oscar Moller. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Racing out of their seats to beat the beer line rush at the first intermission cost many fans a glimpse of what a functional powerplay looks like.

It lasted only a couple of seconds, but it was enough to put the Calgary Flames on the board.

Despite the way goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff played after a couple days of rest, the one goal wasn't enough against the Los Angeles Kings.

But the physical Flames eventually pounded the Western Conference leaders into submission for a 2-1 victory at the Saddledome last night to snap a three-game losing streak.

"That's what we needed," said Kiprusoff, who made 34 saves and fell just short of a shutout when Corey Elkins potted his first NHL goal midway through the third period.

"We've had some tough times lately, and now we knew we had to bounce back.

"It was a big win."

It was definitely encouraging.

Showing the powerplay could in fact find the back of the net at a critical time, the Flames grabbed the lead in the dying seconds of the opening period.

With 2.9 ticks remaining, Olli Jokinen won the faceoff against Anze Kopitar and got the puck back to Jarome Iginla, who patiently feathered a short pass to Dion Phaneuf.

The blueliner blasted his one-timer past Jonathan Quick on the short side, tickling the twine with nine-tenths of a second to go.

Just like they drew it up.

"That's what we wanted to do," said Phaneuf, who now has seven goals on the season.

"We know what we're doing. If the pass is there, he's going to make it. If it's not, he's going to take the shot. He made a great pass tonight."

They didn't add to the lead until early in the third when Nigel Dawes finished off a nifty give-and-go cycle with Daymond Langkow to put the Flames up 2-0, but the Flames made the Dome a hostile environment for the Kings in the meantime.

Battering their captain around, blueliner Mark Giordano did his best Phaneuf impression while battling Dustin Brown.

Two of the four hits he landed on Brown were of the bone-rattling variety.

"It's just one of those things. You have your matchups. We were playing against him a lot," Giordano said of the feud.

"Some games you feel like your timing is there and you get the opportunities. When there's an opportunity like that, you have to take it."

But Giordano wasn't alone.

Aaron Johnson threw some crushing blows, and the rest of the rearguards were following suit. The Flames were credited with nearly 30 hits on the night as they tried to get the Kings to quit before a nine-day break before their next game on Boxing Day.

To no one's surprise, the Kings refused to pack it in.

"No. They're up top for a reason," said Giordano. "They kept coming and coming."

Kiprusoff kept turning them away, and was at his best as the desperate Kings rallied for 16 shots in the third period.

"We didn't want to give up a lot," said Phaneuf. "When we did, Kipper was there for us."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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