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Kings rebound from loss, pound Flames

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Safe to say the Los Angeles Kings didn't take too well to the sloppy loss they absorbed Thursday night against the Dallas Stars.

Given a day to stew about it, they reacted quickly, accordingly and convincingly in a 6-2 win over the visiting Calgary Flames on Saturday night at sold-out Staples Center.

After the momentary lapse against the Stars, the Kings immediately got back on track, having now won eight of their last 10 games, 10 of their last 13 and seven of their last eight at home.

And they did it emphatically, chasing Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff midway through the third period after a six-goal outburst on a 22-shot barrage.

Meanwhile, the Flames have been outscored 10-2 the last two nights in losses to Anaheim and the Kings.

Jeff Carter, who has been hot this year, started it for the Kings with his 17th goal of the season, on a power play with assists from Dustin Brown and Slava Voynov 4:48 into the first period, to make it 1-0.

"We got Carter scoring every game and I think that opens things up for the rest of us," Kings winger Justin Williams said.

But the Flames answered quickly on a two-man advantage as Mike Cammalleri beat Jonathan Quick over his left shoulder to make it 1-1.

Another five-on-three followed for the Flames, but the Kings extinguished it and that's when the fun started for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Midway through the first period, Kings defensemen Jake Muzzin fired a 49-foot snap shot over the left shoulder of Kiprusoff on assists by Colin Fraser and Justin Williams to make it 2-1.

Eight minutes later, Trevor Lewis snapped a 19-footer past Kiprusoff to make it 3-1 Kings, and the rout seemed imminent.

The Flames scored a late goal in the first on tip-in by Alex Tanguay to pull to 3-2 and momentarily make it a close game.

Despite the four-goal period, the Kings weren't pleased with the overall effort.

"We kind of got it into a track meet later on in the period and that's certainly not what we're about," Williams said. "The Kings are about being a sound defensive team and I think in the (first) period we got way too loose and gave them a goal late. But we found a way to right the ship in the second period."

That they did, pushing the lead back to two when Williams scored on a tip-in to make it 4-2.

"It was a game there for a bit," Calgary winger Jarome Iginla said. "But then it got away from us, and right now, when it goes we're not stopping the bleeding when it stops."

The lead grew to 5-2 early in the third when Williams fed Anze Kopitar with a beautiful cross-ice pass and Kopitar fired a shot past Kiprusoff for his eighth goal of the year.

When Colin Fraser beat Kiprusoff four minutes later, the Kings were in complete control and Kiprusoff was headed to the bench in favor of Joey MacDonald.

And in the process, a sloppy loss to Dallas was put to rest.

"We certainly weren't happy with our performance against Dallas, but we have them four more times this year so we'll be able to rectify that," Williams said.

Now they turn their attention to the Flames, who are back at Staples Center on Monday.

"We have another game against the same team," Williams said. "Put these two in the bank and we'll look forward to a much better, much more rested Calgary team on Monday."

The Flames can only hope, now having a day of their own to think about two blowout losses to the Ducks and the Kings.

Monday represents their last chance to pocket a point or two on their current three-game road trip, and with the season moving at warp speed, the Flames can't afford to fall back much farther from the five points currently standing between them and a playoff spot.

"It's big, it's big," Iginla said. "It's the halfway point for us and we need to be at least .500. We'd like to have won these two and gotten back in it, but now we have to make sure we don't slip right out of it. It's very important."

NOTES: Despite giving up four goals the last time out, Jonathan Quick was back in net for the Kings against the Flames rather than Jonathan Bernier, who has been alternating with Quick and is having a better year statistically with a 5-1 record and a 1.92 GAA compared with Quick's 7-7 record and 2.59 GAA. Nevertheless, it was Quick getting a chance to redeem himself after Thursday's poor effort against the Dallas Stars. ... The Kings honored former goalie Kelly Hrudey, who helped lead them to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance. ... It has taken Iginla a little while to get going this year, but it's safe to say he has found his stride with six goals in his last six games coming into Saturday. ... In an odd bit of scheduling, the Kings and Flames will play again Monday at Staples Center.
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