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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Kings

Wednesday, 20.02.2013 / 12:05 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Kings

SHARP IN THE FACEOFF CIRCLE

Bob Hartley preaches the importance of winning the "small games" - special teams, goaltending, defensive zone coverage, neutral zone play, etc - in order to win the "big game" on a nightly basis. Tonight, the greatest "small game" challenge could come in the form of faceoffs.

The Kings are extremely proficient in the faceoff circle and the team is coming off a 3-1 victory in Edmonton last night where they won 60 per cent of their draws.

"They have Jarrett Stoll, they have Carter that's going to take faceoffs on his side, Mike Richards on his side," Hartley said. "They're a big team and they're a good faceoff team. That's going to be a battle."

Matt Stajan, who is the Flames best faceoff man this season after winning 51 percentage of his draws through 14 games, stressed the importance of having every forward involved in draws tonight.

"We've got to be ready. We've got to have wingers jumping," he explained. "We'll have our challenge tonight but all five guys have to jump in on every draw."

The Kings are led by Anze Kopitar (53.2 per cent), Stoll (52. 8 per cent) and Richards (46.1 per cent) in faceoffs.

JOEY MAC GETS THE START

Netminder Joey MacDonald will get his first start at the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight and the 33 year-old is looking forward to making his debut in front of hometown crowd.

"To get an opportunity to play, that's why we play this game. And to get an opportunity to play on a team like this, it's great," MacDonald said this morning. "To play on home ice, it's exciting."

The goaltender has been a great addition in the Flames locker room, immediately gelling with the rest of the team thanks to his easy-going demeanor.

"I really like the person and I love the goalie," Hartley commented. "He's a very open-minded guy, always positive, always having fun, a great worker on the ice. His teammates love him.

"When he was on waivers, I asked Jiri Hudler, 'What do you think of Joey MacDonald?' The first thing that he told me was, 'Everyone loves Joey MacDonald.' I think that speaks volumes for a goalie."

FLAMES FANTASY HOCKEY TIPS

Mike Cammalleri hasn't played against his former team that often in his career but the winger has been quite successful in 10 games versus the Kings. He has scored five goals and eight points against Los Angeles and he scored two game-winners against the Kings in the 2011-12 season.

While Cammalleri was held off the scoresheet in Phoenix, he does have nine points in four of his last five outings.

Over 59 career games, captain Jarome Iginla has rattled off 58 points (29 goals, 29 assists) against the Kings. He potted one goal against Los Angeles in the 2011-12 season.

Lee Stempniak has played the Kings 24 in the last seven and a half seasons, racking up nine goals and 17 points in that span. The 30 year-old comes into tonight's tilt with three points in his last five games.

MILESTONES WITHIN REACH

Curtis Glencross needs 1 assist for 100 and 1 point for 200.

Steve Bégin needs 3 games for 500.

Cory Sarich needs 4 points for 150 and 5 games for 900.

Matt Stajan needs 6 points for 300 and 11 assists for 200.