The Los Angeles Kings think they imposed their physicality on the Calgary Flames to open this set of consecutive meetings, but Jarome Iginla feels otherwise.
These teams return to Staples Center for the second time in three days Monday night, with Western Conference goals leader Jeff Carter looking to continue his impressive run of scoring for the Kings.
Los Angeles (13-8-2) won 6-2 over Calgary (9-10-4) on Saturday night, taking its third straight matchup with the Flames and second in 2013 while improving to 8-1-1 in its last 10 home games.
Kings winger Justin Williams, who had a goal and two assists, felt his team made full use of its size advantage.
"Our focus was playing in the offensive zone as much as we could and hanging onto the puck," Williams said. "We're a big strong team, and that's our identity.
"We're very tough to get off the puck. We certainly played that way and got to (Miikka) Kiprusoff, which doesn't happen often."
The undersized Flames have been criticized in the past for playing soft, but Iginla said that wasn't the case Saturday.
"We didn't back down. We've got some good competitors and we competed," the Calgary captain said. "We got outplayed, but by no means did we feel we got pushed around out there.
"We need to get this thing together quickly."
Carter continued his amazing run with the first goal of the game. He's scored in four straight games with six goals in that span, and 13 of his 17 goals have come in his last 13 contests - with Los Angeles going 10-3-0.
"With the fans, it's kind of funny because every time he has the puck, they think he will score," goalie Jonathan Quick said. "It doesn't matter where he shoots it from. It can be from the neutral zone, and the fans will expect it to go in."
Defenseman Slava Voynov matched a career high with his second three-assist game in a week.
"Slava's been playing some great hockey, not only offensively but in the defensive zone, as well," Williams said. "He's been working hard and he's having fun out there."
The Flames are 0-4-1 in their last five on the road as they head into the finale of a three-game California trip that began with Friday's 4-0 defeat to Anaheim. They are placing an increased emphasis on this contest.
"We have to win," coach Bob Hartley said. "That's the urgency that we're facing right now. There's no denying about this. We're not far from eighth spot but at the same time, there's so many teams stuck in that logjam that we have to put a winning streak on."
Kiprusoff has started both games of this trip, allowing 10 goals on 46 shots to see his goals-against average swell to 3.43. He conceded all six goals on 22 shots Saturday before Joey MacDonald replaced him for the final 11:38.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said his team wouldn't practice Sunday. He will choose between Quick, who made 17 saves Saturday, and Jonathan Bernier, who has a 1.93 GAA this season and stopped 26 shots in a 3-1 victory at Calgary on Feb. 20.
Another victory for the Kings would give them their first season-series sweep of the Flames since 1999-2000.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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