(Sports Network) - Los Angeles put on a nice display of heart in its season opener last night. It will hope to carry that over this evening seeing as it hasn't won in Calgary in nearly five years.
The Kings visit Scotiabank Saddledome this evening to take on a Flames club that was held scoreless in its first game of the season.
Facing the club that eliminated them in the first round of last year's playoffs, the Kings battled back for a 2-1 shootout victory over the hosting Canucks. Los Angeles fell behind Vancouver in the second period, but forced overtime on Justin Williams' power-play goal with 4:05 left in regulation.
Anze Kopitar, who needed 18 stitches after getting hit in the mouth by a stick in the second frame, and Jack Johnson both scored in an eventual shootout and Jonathan Quick was strong with 23 saves in the victory.
"They spoiled our dream last year and we spoiled they're opening night here," said Williams. "It's nice to start the season with a win, but there's still 81 games to go."
Los Angeles hasn't begun a season with two straight victories since 2002-03 and may have a hard time doing so this evening since the club hasn't won in Calgary since Dec. 21, 2005. The Kings have lost nine straight there since and have also dropped seven of eight and 13 of their last 15 overall versus the Flames.
That may put added pressure on Jonathan Bernier, who is expected to get the start in net tonight over Quick. The 11th overall pick of the '06 draft has never before faced the Flames and is 4-3-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average in seven career starts.
Bernier will look to keep the Flames off the scoreboard again after they lost in Edmonton, 4-0, on Thursday. Miikka Kiprusoff allowed all four goals on 29 shots, while Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all 37 shots fired his way.
Calgary struggled on special teams in the loss, going 0-for-4 on the man advantage while allowing Edmonton to score twice on six power-play chances. The Oilers also scored short-handed.
"That's something we've got to get a lot better at," said Calgary's Robyn Regehr. "We talked about it before the season started that we wanted to be in the top ten in the league in both of those categories."
The Flames, who start a three-game homestand tonight, began the season with David Moss (shoulder), Alex Kotalik (knee), Daymond Langkow (neck) and Matt Stajan (shoulder) all on injured reserve.
Kiprusoff, who could get the start again tonight, is 16-6-1 with a 2.18 GAA in his career versus the Kings. He started all four of his team's games against Los Angeles last year, going 3-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA.