Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 23 vs. Calgary, March 9, 2013, 7pm PST (10pm EST)
On a night where they will honour former netminder Kelly Hrudey as part of their Legends Night series, the Los Angeles Kings hope to get back on the winning streak as they host the Calgary Flames in the first of two-straight meetings with the club at Staples Center. Saturday night also marks the second-straight weekend where the Kings will be on CBC‘s Hockey Night in Canada. Let’s just hope for a better result this time.
For the previous month, goaltending has been Calgary’s Achilles’ heel but with Miikka Kiprusoff back in the lineup, it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. While Kiprusoff won in San Jose a few nights ago, he lost last night en route to a 4-0 defeat in Anaheim. Being that he did just play last night, it’s unclear whether he will get the nod on Saturday night against the Kings. While he has been the Flames’ ironman before his injury, the Finnish backstop did just return after recuperating from a sprained MCL so with that said, the Flames might be a little more conservative this time and go with Joey McDonald instead.
As for Los Angeles’ goaltending situation, it’s no more clear than Calgary’s. Both Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier are coming off shaky starts in each of their last outings and given that they’ve allowed three or more goals in three of their last four games, the Kings need better goaltending, plain and simple. Quick especially has been off his game recently allowing four goals in each of his last two starts and during this week’s game against St. Louis where he relieved Bernier, he allowed a goal on just six shots. The Los Angeles defense could also benefit from elevating their game a few notches so we’ll see what happens.
Saturday marks the second of three meetings between the 12-8-2 Kings and the 9-9-4 Flames. The Kings won the first meeting in Calgary on February 20 in a 3-1 final. In that game, Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis and Jeff Carter all score en route to the victory for the Kings. Should the Flames hope to rebound on Saturday, they will need to contain all three of those players, especially Carter who ranks second in the NHL with 16 goals.
Of course, if the Kings hope to win, they will need to not only contain Flames captain Jarome Iginla but they will need to start turning their shots into goals. In terms of quantity, the Kings are fine. Quality on the other hand, they can definitely improve upon.
As per Legends Night protocol, the Los Angeles Kings will be donning their vintage royal blue and gold uniforms. They are 1-0 this season in their old-school get-up so let’s hope they can remain unbeaten in them.
Enjoy the game!