LA Beats Down Flames
Kings 5 - Flames 2 

Kris Fernet
December 21, 2005

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Now the fun begins.

A bad start followed by a season saving run, and now a new dastardly blip in the road.

The Flames fell to the Craig Conroy bolstered LA Kings on Wednesday night by a score of 5-2, after taking a 2-0 first period lead.

Two straight losses, both as a result of blown two goal leads. Add in the Boston game that featured a quick lead and some great goaltending by Miikka Kiprusoff and you have a slight bit of a slide.

Maybe that layoff did slow things up a tad.

It will be interesting to see where they go from here.

On The Line – The Calgary Flames were coming of an uninspiring effort against the Edmonton Oilers and were looking to regain their proper form.  The Los Angels Kings are in the midst of a three game road trip.  They are on a 3 game winning streak with 2 of the wins coming via shootout.

The Flow – Calgary came out flying.  They had apparently found their nasty, hard working style and led an overwhelmed Kings team 2-0 at the end of the first period.  Unfortunately they lost it during the first intermission.  The last 40 minutes of play by the Flames can be easily described with one word – Brutal.  Absolutely brutal.  Hard-hitting and crisp passes were replaced with floating and lazy no-look passes.  Their skating went from 4th and 5th gear to 1st maybe 2nd gear.  They gave the puck away, left Kings forwards open in the slot, and were unable to set up any kind of attack over the LA blueline.  At the end of the 2nd period the Flames were lucky to be still ahead 2-1.  This, however, would change in the 3rd period.  LA continued to exploit the Flames indifferent play and they were able to put together 4 unanswered goals (including an empty net goal with 1 minute left).  

Three Stars - 
1. Mike Cammalleri –
2 goals on 3 shots.  Won 64% of his faceoffs.  Helped swing the momentum the Kings way by scoring their first and second goals of the game.
2. Mathieu Garon – He wasn’t consistently tested with difficult saves but he did face 29 shots.  With his steady play in the last 2 periods the Kings were able to maintain their forward assault.
3. Jeff Giuliano Scored his first NHL goal and it proved to be that game winner.  His pesky play was a thorn in the Flames side all night.

Big Hit – Luc Robitaille was looking in his feet for the puck when Flames forward Darren McCarty caught him just over the Flames blueline with a solid forearm body check. 

Big Save – Midway through the 1st period Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff stoned an all-alone Sean Avery.  Kiprusoff was able to pinch the snap shot from the slot between his blocker arm and his pad. 

The Goat – Calgary’s inconsistent play was the number one reason why they lost.  The effort (or lack-thereof) from the entire team in the 2nd and 3rd period was inexcusable.

Mr. Clutch – LA’s persistence and ability to take advantage of the Jekyll and Hyde Flames is what won them the game.  They kept at the Flames and did not let being down 2-0 inhibit their effort.

Odds and Ends – Tonight was supposed to be the much-ballyhooed return of Craig Conroy to the Saddledome.  However, an injury kept Conroy off tonight’s roster…LA didn’t get their 1st shot of the game until 9 minutes had passed in the first period.  They went on to be out shot 11-3 in the first and 29-18 at the end of the night…Jarome Iginla took 6 shots on net and managed to score the Flames 2nd goal… Not a single Flame finished the game in the plus category.  The worst offenders on the night were Iginla, Langkow and Ference…Speaking of Ference; he continued his inconsistent play that has dogged him this season.  The NHL stats keepers were feeling generous tonight and only credited him with 2 giveaways.  His lack of proper positioning cost the Flames at least one goal in the 3rd period.  He was rewarded for his play with just over 26 minutes of ice time…Bryan Marchment can also be fingered for causing a goal against when he inexplicable left the front of the net to fight for the puck.  That left Cammalleri wide open and he made no mistake by potting another Kings goal…Calgary was given 10 powerplay opportunities and managed to make them count on 2 occasions…Robatille played the goon tonight taking 4 minor penalties…Nothing to chose between the 2 teams in the faceoff circle.  LA won 51% of the draws…Calgary had 13 giveaways on the night and just 4 takeaways…Marchment went to the dressing room in the 1st after taking a shot in the wrist.  He did (for better or worse) return at the end of the period.

 Next up – Friday December 23, 2005 at Vancouver Canucks.  8pm.  Available on CBC and online on FAN 960am.

Lines - 

Huselius- Langkow- Iginla
Nilson-Reinprecht -McCarty










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