Sat, 10 Jun 2023

Flames hope to cool off red-hot Kings

Field Level Media
28 Mar 2023, 10:19 GMT+10

The Los Angeles Kings have already set a franchise record with their current 12-game point streak that includes 10 victories, and they now have a conference crown in their sights.

Los Angeles will look to continue building momentum when it hits the road to face the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

The Kings (43-20-10, 96 points) sit two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in both the Pacific Division and the Western Conference, and capped a seven-game homestand with a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

If the Kings needed a reminder to fine tune their play during their hot streak, they received it against the Blues. Los Angeles took a 5-1 lead in the first period, but St. Louis came charging back to pull within one on three occasions before the Kings held on for a wild victory.

"These games aren't going to happen the rest of the way I don't think," Los Angeles defenseman Sean Durzi said. "It's going to be tight the rest of the year and we got to be able to close it out a little better."

Nail-biting win aside, the Kings have been clicking on all levels as they ride a three-game winning streak in which they have scored 19 goals. Their power play scored four times against St. Louis, and a handful of players are rolling offensively.

"Over the last couple of weeks, we feel like our game is there," Los Angeles forward Adrian Kempe said. "It's not going to be perfect every period ... but we've played really well over the last couple of weeks."

The Flames (33-26-15, 81 points) are coming off Saturday's 5-3 home victory over the San Jose Sharks that helped keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.

The Flames are four points out of a playoff spot with eight games remaining. If it does not have enough motivation going into Tuesday's clash with the Kings, Calgary can be reminded of the 8-2 beatdown it took in Los Angeles early last week.

"You treat these games like playoff games because, at the end of the day, that's what they are," Flames forward Tyler Toffoli said. "I think it's a really good opportunity for our group. ... If you look at teams that are successful a lot of the time, they're fighting for their lives to get into the playoffs and they do well in the playoffs because they're used to playing in those tight games.

"I think that's a perspective we have to be looking at."

Toffoli is leading the way on the ice, too. He scored twice against the Sharks and now has 31 goals on the season, matching his career high reached in 2015-16 while with the Kings.

The Flames are also getting contributions from forward Nazem Kadri, who has scored in consecutive games after struggling through a 16-game drought.

"Ideally you want to find yourself to not be in this position this late in the season, but it's hard to win in months like these leading up to the playoffs," Kadri said. "We've given ourselves a chance, so that's all that really matters."

The Flames also received good news on Sunday when Matt Coronato, a 2021 first-round draft pick, signed with the team after his sophomore season at Harvard. Coronato, who collected 20 goals and 16 assists this season, will join the Flames immediately, although it is not known when he will suit up.

--Field Level Media

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