Feisty Flames edge Kings on the road

Flames forward Blair Jones celebrates a shorthanded goal against goalie Ben Scrivens and the Kings...

Flames forward Blair Jones celebrates a shorthanded goal against goalie Ben Scrivens and the Kings on Saturday night in L.A. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images-AFP)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:42 AM ET

LOS ANGELES - Hard to believe Karri Ramo going three weeks again before getting a start between the pipes.

Not after how the Calgary Flames goaltender fared in his first opportunity in seemingly an eternity Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Ramo, who’d been relegated to caddie for Reto Berra for most of November, finally stepped into the breach and came up with another strong performance in a 2-1 NHL victory over the Stanley Cup contenders.

It’s the second time Ramo has beat the Kings this season for the Flames (9-13-4) who had their dads in toe at Staples Center in L.A.

Funny thing is Ramo, the opening day starter who’s made just six starts since, looked like he would miss out on his chance after he left the morning skate in pain when he suffered a “stinger” when hit by a shot.

“A little bag of ice did the trick,” commented head coach Bob Hartley after the morning session.

Whatever the problem, Ramo showed no ill-effects, especially in the early-going when the Kings — who entered the game having tied a franchise record run of 11 games without losing in regulation — came out of the blocks with intent to try and kick the Flames team while they were down.

Ramo stood tall off the hop with a big stop on Jordan Nolan and shortly after by coming up with a couple of saves during a bang-bang exchange with Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter on the hunt to set the tone before the sellout crowd of 18,118 fans.

He finished the night with 21 saves.

Just when it was looking like it would be remain scoreless through two periods, Blair Jones opened the scoring while shorthanded on a Keystone Kops play from the hosts.

Kings goalie Ben Scrivens left his net to play a iced puck but tripped over his own feet and went for a tumble.

The Flames’ Paul Byron, who was recently summoned from the minors and playing his first NHL game this season, was first on the scene but knocked to the ice as he got to the puck. From his knees, though, Byron whacked the puck to Jones, who made no mistake while aiming at an empty net because Scrivens couldn’t get back to his post in time.

But the Flames yet again couldn’t hold the third-period lead.

With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, Justin Williams zipped down the wing and sent a perfectly placed wrister into the far-side top corner.

But Michael Cammalleri netted the winner with 23 seconds remaining to finish an incredible series for the Flames.

Cammalleri was juking and jiving with the puck in the Kings zone, only to lose it when he was knocked down. However, he went to the net, and after getting a pass from Mikael Backlund, he slipped it around the prone goalie for his 10th tally of the season.

After a softee-toffee performance in Friday’s 5-2 loss in Anaheim, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made no bones about expecting his team to play with more oomph against the big, bad Kings.

They responded by being more than willing to go tit-for-tat with the Kings.

Case in point was Matt Stajan’s reaction after Kings captain Dustin Brown targeted him in the head and was without the puck midway through the second period. Stajan, who’s had a couple of concussions in his career, responded with an emphatic shove and tackle to the ice.

Things elevated when Flames defenceman Ladislav Smid hit Dwight King from behind and was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct.

It was during that penalty when Jones opened the scoring.

To add to the nastiness, the Flames’ Shane O’Brien gave a pretty nasty elbow to the head on Williams, which set off a meeting on the ice that saw Backlund and Brown wrestle to the ice.

Scrivens made 18 saves for the Kings (16-7-4).

The Flames return home to face the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.


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