Preview: Flames vs. Kings
The Calgary Flames have won eight straight games at home and are eagerly awaiting the start of Michael Cammalleri's second stint with the club.
All of that is taking a back seat with Darryl Sutter coming to town to coach against brother Brent for the first time.
Darryl is now coaching the Los Angeles Kings and he'll return to face Brent's Flames on Saturday night in his first visit to Calgary since spending eight years there as coach and general manager.
Calgary (21-19-5) is seeking to capture a ninth straight home win for the first time since a 10-game run Nov. 7-Dec. 12, 2006. Cammalleri, who had a career-high 39 goals and 82 points in 2008-09 with the Flames, was re-acquired from Montreal for Rene Bourque on Thursday and will play against Los Angeles.
The major story Saturday, though, is that Darryl Sutter will be back in Calgary after being let go by the club Dec. 28, 2010. He coached the Flames in 2002-03 and became the general manager after that season.
He guided the Flames to their last Stanley Cup finals appearance in 2003-04 and coached one more season before stepping down to focus on his GM duties. Calgary missed the playoffs in 2009-10 and he was let go during the following campaign.
"I have no feelings one way or another about it," Darryl Sutter told the Kings' official website. "(Working in Calgary) was a great experience. I worked with great people and I got lots of friends. That's what it's about at the end of the day."
Darryl Sutter has coached against brothers Brian and Duane but never against Brent. He never addressed the media in Calgary after his departure and insists that his return is a media-driven story.
"There's nothing bad about it, nothing bad to think about," he said. "It was awesome. It was a good experience because we had a good team. At the end of the day, that's all that matters."
Los Angeles (21-15-8) is 6-1-4 under Darryl Sutter, who has revitalized a club that floundered under Terry Murray.
Calgary, meanwhile, is 10-0-1 in its last 11 games at the Scotiabank Saddledome as it welcomes back Cammalleri. He is excited about the change of scenery after amassing 22 points in 38 games with Montreal, and saying earlier in the week that the struggling Canadiens "play like losers."
"It's a place that I have such fond memories, I really have strong relationships with some of the players," Cammalleri told the Flames' official website. "I really appreciated playing there."
Cammalleri will be facing the club he spent his first five seasons with in Los Angeles, which expects top scorer Anze Kopitar to be available even though he left Thursday's 5-4 shootout loss to Dallas in the third period due to a hard hit into the boards.
The Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff is 10-0-1 with a 1.71 goals-against average in his last 11 home starts against the Kings. Kiprusoff made 23 saves in Thursday's 1-0 overtime win over Anaheim for his third shutout.
This is the first 2011-12 meeting between these clubs, with the Kings having won the last three of four matchups last season by one goal - two in shootouts.