Zebras, King's PP Best Flames 

Special Teams Battle Keeps Flames in Basement

February 13th, 2002
D'Arcy McGrath

Lowry Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Drury Saprykin
Niedermayer Yelle Clark
Berube Begin Nichol
Lydman Boughner
Leopold Montador
Gauthier Ference

Even the most casual hockey fan could tell you that good teams are built on a foundation of good special teams.

The Los Angeles Kings gave the Flames a painful reminder of such, in scoring four powerplay goals on their way to a 4-2 victory over Calgary on Thursday night at the Staple Center.

Of course it helps when you get a rational performance from the two assigned NHL officials, but that's beside the point.

Team's that succeed battle through tough calls or bad officiating and find a way to win.

Going into tonight's action the 14 current non playoff teams can boast the league's 28th, 29th and 30th best powerplays, as well as the circuits' 25th, 27th, 28th and 30th best penalty killing crews.

Five on five hockey is important, you need to break even in even situations, but that maters little if your getting murdered with skaters off the ice.

This night was predominantly played with less than 12 players on the ice. 

The Kings themselves had 12 powerplay opportunities, and managed to score all four of their goals mad advantage situations.

First Rick Heinze scored a first period powerplay goal, by turning crease crossing pass into a bank shot off of Denis Gauthier to make it 1-0.

The Flames tied it up later in the period when Jarome Iginla pounced on a loose puck created by some fierce penalty kill fore checking to notch his second short handed goal of the season.

The second period featured three Kings powerplay goal sin succession to salt away the Flames third straight loss on this now completed four game road trip.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Buffalo Nikolai Zherdev
2 Carolina Marc Andre Fleury
3 Atlanta Eric Stall
4 Calgary Nathan Horton
5 Phoenix Milan Michalek
*ranking: McKeen's 2/13/03

First Ziggy Palffy jumped on a big Roman Turek rebound to make it 2-1.

Two minutes later Derek Armstrong scored his 8th of the season by one timing a well threaded cross ice pass.

Less than five minutes later it was 4-1 L.A. when Joe Corvo beat Turek for his fifth of the season.

Jarome Iginla rounded out the scoring by netting his 2nd of the night on a third period powerplay to make the final 4-2 Los Angeles.

For Iginla, it was his 7th goal on the four game trip, giving him 22 on the season.

The win keeps the Kings playoff hopes alive as they three points of the 9th place Blackhawks, and seven points within the reach of their cross town rivals, the Ducks for the 8th and final playoff spot.

The loss moves the Flames 10 games under .500 for the first time this season, and puts them last in the West, and 27th overall. 

Next up for the Flames is a home date with the Vancouver Canucks at the Saddledome on Saturday night.

The contest is the third of CBC Hockey Day in Canada triple header featuring all six Canadian teams.

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L.A. Kings 4
Calgary Flames 2

1 Zigmund Palffy - Flashy Kings forward had his kind of night ... three points on L.A. powerplays. 

2 Jarome Iginla - Bounce back from OT gaff in Anaheim with two goal performance. 

3 Mathieu Schneider - Ran the very successful Kings powerplay to the tune of two assists.

A nifty backhand pass from Rob Niedermayer sent Chris Clark in all alone on Jamie Storr with the game tied at one. Storr flipped the mitt up and robbed Clark.


Martin Gelinas caught Mattias Norstrom fishing for the puck along the boards in the first period, plastering the towering rearguard into the glass.

The Kings had nine, yes I said nine powerplays in the second period alone, turning a close game into a rout for the home side. The Flames had a total of five powerplays in total. ... A silver lining if you look really, really hard? Since all four Kings goals were with the man advantage, not a single Flame skater took a hit in the plus/minus department on the night. In fact, four players were a +1. ... Jordan Leopold led all skaters with 23:49 of ice time on the night, continuing his high log of ice time since his recall from Saint John. Other 20 minute plus skaters for Calgary included Denis Gauthier 23:34, Toni Lydman 23:27, Andrew Ferrence 21:25, and Jarome Ignila with 20:46. ... 


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