Flames Take on Kings

The Los Angeles Kings may own the NHL's worst record, but they also have one of the league's longest current winning streaks.

The Kings hope to match their season high with a fourth straight win Friday night as they continue a three-game road trip against the Calgary Flames.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Calgary -185 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on Calgary -185 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

While it hasn't been enough to get them out of last place in the league's overall standings, three straight wins has helped restore confidence for the Kings (18-27-2), who have 38 points, one behind Tampa Bay in the race to avoid the NHL's worst record.

Patrick O'Sullivan had a goal and an assist, and Jason LaBarbera was solid again with 32 saves in a 3-1 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday.

"We stuck to trying to give up as little as we could and we got a good performance from our goalie," O'Sullivan said. "And when you get all that, you get a good chance to win."

Dustin Brown and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for the Kings, who have won six of nine following an eight-game losing streak. They also have won three in a row on the road.

"Tonight was a very strong game for us," coach Marc Crawford said. "We did a great job, I thought, of hanging on to the puck and really challenging an Oiler D that's playing with a lot of confidence right now. I thought we back-checked really well."

Entering play Thursday night, only Anaheim (4) had a longer win streak than Los Angeles.

Generating offense hasn't been a problem for the Kings, who rank eighth in the NHL with 132 goals scored. Defense and goaltending have been their biggest concerns, but LaBarbera has been outstanding lately, going 3-0-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average in his last three starts.

He did, however, struggle in his only start this season against Calgary (23-17-8), allowing five goals on 26 shots in a 6-4 home loss on Jan. 5.

The Kings haven't won four consecutive road games since Dec. 6-21, 2005.

Jarome Iginla scored the clinching goal in a shootout as the Flames ended a four-game losing streak Wednesday with a 3-2 victory at Minnesota.

"We haven't been playing well at all our last few games and we were trying to stop it and get some momentum going again," Iginla said. "These are almost four-point games. You want them. They are huge momentum."

Iginla has gone a season-high five straight games without a regulation goal after scoring five times in his previous three contests. He has two goals and 10 assists during a five-game point streak against the Kings.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves in regulation and overtime in his 24th straight start. He should get more nights off in the second half of the season after Calgary signed 40-year-old goalie Curtis Joseph on Thursday.

Joseph is one NHL victory shy of tying Terry Sawchuk for fourth all-time on the career win list at 447. He went 18-31-2 with a 3.19 GAA with Phoenix last season.

"It's very exciting," Joseph told the Flames' official Web site. "It's always been fun to visit Calgary. It's a hockey crazy town. If you could win a Stanley Cup in Calgary, it would be very special."

The Flames have won five straight against the Kings, including both meetings this season.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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