The NHL is set for a busy Saturday night. Eleven games are on the schedule for November 10, which should bring plenty of excitement to the NHL. One of the games will be between Pacific Division rivals, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. I expect an exciting night of hockey set for Saturday night.
Calgary has started out the season with an impressive 9-6-1 record. The Flames are currently sitting in second place of the Pacific Division. Calgary ended their four-game winning streak with a loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. The Flames finish their tour of California with a game against the Sharks on Sunday night.
Los Angeles started out struggling this season. The Kings are currently 5-9-1, which puts them in eighth place of the Pacific Division and dead last in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has won two of their last three, but it will take a lot more to get them back into the race. The Kings desperately need another win against Calgary on Saturday night.
These two teams are set to meet for the first time on Saturday night. Los Angeles and Calgary will meet three more times before the season is over. I expect this game to set the pace for the season series. This means both teams will look to keep it tight throughout the game.
Last Season’s Matchups
The Flames and the Kings met up a total of four times last season. The Kings hosted the first game of the season. Dustin Brown scored two goals and added an assist for Los Angeles, but it was not enough. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice for the Flames. Sean Monahan scored the game winning goal in overtime to give Calgary a 4-3 win.
Calgary hosted the second game of the season between these two teams. Tanner Pearson scored twice and had an assist for the Kings. Four unanswered goals in the second period by Calgary, was too much for Los Angeles to handle. Micheal Ferland and Sean Monahan each had a goal and an assist. The Flames pulled off another 4-3 win.
The Flames also hosted the third game of the season series. Sean Monahan scored the only go for Calgary. Tanner Pearson scored in overtime to give the Kings a 2-1 win. Darcy Kuemper stopped 30 of 31 shots. Mike Smith had 25 saves in the loss.
The final game of the season series between the Flames and the Kings shifted back to Los Angeles. Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Dion Phaneuf and Dustin Brown each had two assists to help Los Angeles get the win. Jonathan Quick posted a 23 save shutout in route to a 3-0 win for the Kings.
These two teams were able to split the season series 2-2. Each team won one game at home and loss the other. I expect these two teams to play another close series this season. The Kings and Flames see each other enough during the season that they should get a good understanding of each other plays.
The only injury for Calgary is Dillon Dube. Dube is a solid prospect for the Flames, but he is listed out with a concussion. He has two assists in fourteen games played. Overall though, Calgary has been able to avoid the injuries stacking up early in the season.
Los Angeles will be without Jonny Brodzinski on Saturday night. The Kings could also be without Paul Ladue. Neither player has a big role in the Kings lineup. The big injury for Los Angeles is Jonathan Quick. Quick has been the backbone of this team and with him gone, it could be a struggle to find any consistency. Quick struggled early in the season because of his injuries and Los Angeles’ defensive play.
I believe that Mike Smith will get the start in net for Calgary on Saturday night. To start out the new season, Smith has posted a record of 5-5-1 in his starts. He has a save percentage of .872 and a 3.66 GAA. Smith has had his ups and downs this season, but he could bounce back with a road win against the Kings on Saturday night.
Jack Campbell will likely get the start in net for the Kings. Campbell has posted a .918 save percentage and a GAA of 2.46. Campbell has posted a 5-6 record in his starts. He will need to continue to step up in the absence of Jonathan Quick.
Campbell has been playing better in net, but I would not be surprised by a solid game by Mike Smith in net. Both of these goalies have seen their share of struggles and it will be a nice battle on Saturday night. Each of these teams needs a tough win and they will look towards their goalies to lead them.
The Kings are still moving into their new coaches’ system, which is normally a rough transition. I believe that the Flames will take advantage of that. Calgary has been good this season and I believe that they will take the win on the road. The Flames have the better offense and less injuries as well.
BetOnline has Los Angeles listed at a money line of +101. The Kings should be slightly bigger underdogs in my opinion. Although they are at home, there is a lot of movement going on in Los Angeles’ organization. Calgary has looked like a solid team this season and they need to win games like this. I believe the Flames get it done on the road.