(SportsNetwork.com) – Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar were key to the Los
Angeles Kings’ run to a Stanley Cup title a season ago.
The duo is at it again.
The Kings take aim at a third straight victory on Monday night when they play
host to a Calgary Flames club trying to avoid a ninth straight loss.
Kopitar led the NHL with 26 points during the most recent postseason and
Gaborik netted 14 goals in helping Los Angeles win the Cup. Injuries, though,
have limited Gaborik to 22 games this season and Kopitar had struggled to just
14 points through his first 29 games before a recent two-game surge.
Kopitar had a goal and four assists in a win over St. Louis on Thursday to
begin a four-game homestand and then added another three helpers in Saturday’s
4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
Gaborik netted a goal for a fourth game in a row, with six total over that
span. He also had picked up two assists during that run.
Gaborik’s goal with 2:20 left in the second period tied the game and Alec
Martinez and Trevor Lewis scored in the third frame to put the contest away.
Jeff Carter also scored and Jonathan Quick made 15 saves.
“We came out pretty good dictating the tempo,” said Kopitar. “It could easily
go south after those two goals, but we stuck together and got it done on the
The Kings’ back-to-back wins come following a 1-3-1 road trip. L.A. is 13-4-1
at home this season and 4-7-5 on the road.
The Flames face a tough task in slowing down the Kings’ momentum at home and
are on their longest losing streak since an 0-6-3 stretch from Jan. 11-28,
After losing seven in a row in regulation, the Flames did at least earn a
point with Saturday’s 3-2 overtime setback to the Vancouver Canucks.
Calgary fell behind by two goals, one that was credited to Vancouver when
Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman’s pass to the right point during a delayed
penalty caromed off the boards past a teammate and all the way into the
“I don’t know what to tell you. It was a basic pass back to the point that
kind of handcuffed him, took a funny bounce off the wall and ran all the way
down the ice and into the net,” said Wideman.
David Jones and Johnny Gaudreau, though, scored to even the game before the
Canucks won it just 18 seconds into overtime. Jonas Hiller ended with 30 saves
“Goals are tough to come by,” said Flames coach Bob Hartley. “It would have
been easy to fold the tent, but credit to our guys, they battled back. I
thought we played a pretty solid game.”
Hiller has allowed two goals or fewer in three straight and four of his past
five starts. He is 9-8-3 lifetime versus the Kings with a 2.30 goals against
average, .928 save percentage and three shutouts.
Quick is 9-5-2 versus the Flames with a 1.60 GAA and .934 save percentage
along with two shutouts.
Calgary won three of five versus the Kings last season and has taken two
straight and four of its past six in Los Angeles.