The Los Angeles Kings will try to maintain their hot streak when they hit the road to face the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
The Kings have won four in a row, all on a homestand that concluded with a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
“We haven’t given up much at 5-on-5, which we’re happy about,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “A few things to clean up, but good teams play with detail all the time, over and over again, they don’t let it slip. That’s what we’re pushing to be.”
The Flames ended a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
“You can talk about the effort and stuff like that, but we kept losing and losing and, obviously, it’s not good enough when you lose seven in a row,” Calgary center Elias Lindholm said. “(Against the Jets), we wanted to put a good game out there. Obviously, there are things we can do better, but we got the win and that’s all that matters.”
After Monday’s game, the Flames will have played 11 of their first 15 contests at home. Next, they will head out on a six-game road trip, their longest of the season.
Calgary hasn’t taken advantage of its schedule, however, going 5-4-1 at home so far.
“It’s important to understand how hard it is to win,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. “The reason we hadn’t won lately was we got soft at home.”
The Flames likely will start Jacob Markstrom in goal for the 12th time this season.
Markstrom has done well to give Calgary a shot to win in most of his starts. He stopped 21 of 23 shots against Winnipeg to help the Flames end their losing streak.
“I’ve said it before, when you’re on a streak — winning or losing — you need your goalie to be a star,” said coach Darryl Sutter. “He was a star (against the Jets). That’s what you need.”
McLellan has been impressed with the development of Kings defenseman Sean Durzi.
Durzi scored two goals against the Red Wings for the first multi-goal game of his NHL career, but McLellan has also liked the way Durzi has played defense of late, especially while playing on his opposite side.
“He’s learning, or maybe he’s learned already, when those pressure points come and how to react to them,” McLellan said. “If you haven’t played on your off side, that’s all brand new and some of the situations he’s been caught in, you don’t see him caught in those spots as much anymore. Repetition, practice and playing, he’s doing a really good job.”
McLellan said it’s veterans Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick, who won two Stanley Cup titles under Sutter in 2012 and 2014, that continue to lead the way.
“These guys won championships because they sacrificed, they gave up offense, they did what other teams didn’t want to do in the past and we still have some of that room,” McLellan said. “Drew, Quickie and Kopi, they have to give and give so that the team can win, and they did that in the past and we want them to keep doing that.”
–Field Level Media