Cammalleri's late winner lifts Flames over Kings

Dennis Bernstein, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Calgary Flames were determined to make their trip to Southern California a productive one after a poor performance Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks. For the second time this season, they found their answer with a spirited effort against the Los Angeles Kings.
Winger Mike Cammalleri's game-winning goal with 23 seconds remaining gave the Flames a 2-1 victory over the Kings on Saturday night. The triumph was Calgary's second victory in Los Angeles this season with both coming in the final minute of regulation.
Calgary center Blair Jones added a short-handed goal in the second period and goaltender Karri Ramo made 21 saves. The Flamers improved to 9-13-4 but still remain in 13th place in the NHL's Western Conference.
Cammalleri's hard work inside the Los Angeles goal set the stage for the winning marker. He outfought Los Angeles defenseman Slava Voynov behind the net and then fed a pass to center Mikael Backlund inside the left faceoff circle. Cammlleri then beat the Kings' defense to the front of the net for a return pass and slid a backhand shot past Los Angeles goalie Ben Scrivens while falling to the ice.
"It was a good play," Cammalleri said. "Lee Stempniak comes out of the zone, gets it to Mikael in a soft spot and he had a heck of a presence to make that play and then made a great pass."
The goal was the 10th of the season for the diminutive winger and the eighth in 15 games against the team that originally drafted him.
"The wins haven't been as frequent as we'd like, so it's nice to get one," Cammalleri said. "The Kings usually grind these kind of games out."
"That play can't happen in the last minute of the game," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It's a valuable point we lost. Every game here seems like a home game to Mike Cammalleri."
The Kings' offensive woes continue at home, they've only scored two goals in their last three matches in Los Angeles and lost a chance to keep pace with the Pacific Division leading San Jose Sharks who won in a shootout against the Anaheim Ducks.
"We need to play solid hockey," Kopitar said. "We got two of the top teams in the NHL with St. Louis coming here and on the road in Anaheim. They have some good bodies and they play heavy. We're going to have to get ready and play a physical game,"
The game's first turning point came when Calgary defenseman Ladislav Smid boarded Kings winger Dwight King with 5:34 remaining in the second period. The hit was ruled a major penalty along with a game misconduct and gave Los Angeles a five-minute man advantage. During the power play, Scrivens misplayed a Calgary icing attempt behind the net and Flames center Paul Byron fed Jones for the game's first goal, a shorty at 15:50 of the middle frame with defenseman TJ Brodie getting the additional assist.
Los Angeles kept applying pressure through the third period and evened the score when winger Justin Williams wrist shot eluded Ramo at 15:17 of the final period. The shot beat Ramo to his right and quickly came out of the net. After a review, the goal stood and was Williams' 200th NHL career marker. Center Anze Kopitar earned his 500th career point with a secondary assist.
The Kings got an additional chance to even the score late in the second period when Flames' defenseman Sean O'Brien elbowed Williams with 34 seconds left in the second period. Los Angeles couldn't find their rhythm on their third power play of the game and failed to get a shot on Ramo.
After a scoreless first period, Calgary failed to capitalize on a 5-on-3 advantage after Los Angeles center Jarret Stoll and winger Dustin Brown took consecutive penalties. The Flames only managed one shot at Scrivens despite being up two men for 1:19.
Los Angeles' penalty kill prowess kept the game even through 30 minutes, killing off another minor penalty to Brown. It marked the 35th time they held a team off the board in the last 37 power play opportunities against them.
NOTES: D Christopher Breen and LW Sven Baertschi did not dress for Calgary. ... The Flames hadn't won back to back games since Oct. 9-11 home victories against the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils. ... Calgary's two-game California trip is the annual Dad's trip, with 36 fathers of players and staff accompanying the team to Anaheim and Los Angeles. ... The Kings will be road warriors in December. They will play eight games away from the Staples Center, the most in any month this season. ... With his next goal, LW Dustin Brown will tie former Kings RW Jim Fox for ninth overall in goals scored for the franchise. ... RW Matt Frattin, LW Tanner Pearson and C Colin Fraser were scratches for Los Angeles.

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