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Iginla returns to Calgary with the Kings
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Latest Line: Los Angeles NL O/U: 5
 
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CALGARY, Alberta -- Jarome Iginla scored a big goal for the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night but there will be an arena full of his longtime fans hoping he doesn't do the same Sunday in Calgary.

Recently acquired by the Kings, the beloved former Flames captain got the game-winner in a much-needed 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Iginla and the Kings visit the Flames and resume their quest to scratch and claw their way into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It is one three meetings between the teams in the last 11 games. The teams will also meet in Calgary March 29 and in Los Angeles April 6.

While the Kings have a mathematical shot at catching Calgary or Edmonton in the wild card race, they are more likely to catch the St. Louis Blues, who occupy the second and wild card spot.

"Coming to a new team, you definitely want to find ways to help out," Iginla, now 39, told reporters in Los Angeles. "I've got a great shot here. I'm going to keep working at. There's room for improvement, but it feels good."

Iginla was acquired on trade deadline day from the Colorado Avalanche. He is hoping to get another crack at the Stanley Cup as he skates closer to retirement.

"Just coming here, 10-plus players who have won Cups, a bunch more with one. It's neat to be in the locker room, watch the way they work. I may be 39 but you're never too old to learn, right," Iginla said in an interview with Calgary's official website.

Calgary is nine points ahead of the Kings.

"We're trying to stay in the position we are and move up as we go. They're trying to get into the spot we are. This is a big game. Both clubs have to be real desperate," Flames center Sean Monahan told NHL.com.

The Flames bounced back from seeing their 10-game winning streak end earlier in the week by downing the Dallas Stars 3-1 at home Friday night.

Returning to the net after missing Wednesday's loss to the Boston Bruins because of the flu was goalie Brian Elliott, who made 24 saves for his 10-straight win.

"I had it myself a few weeks ago and it's not easy," Flames center Mikael Backlund said. "It's tough when you're battling it, for sure. Everybody knows how hard the flu is and it's not fun to deal with.

"He's shown the last few years he's a clutch goalie when it matters at the end of the season and that's what we need down the stretch."

Calgary also is getting solid play down the stretch from its captain, defenseman Mark Giordano, who was involved in all three goals against Dallas, including scoring one on a floater from the point that went in off Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis.

Head coach Glen Gulutzan spoke glowingly of him after the Dallas game.

"He's driven right now, he's driven," Gulutzan said. "He's been our engine all year back there. Can't say enough. He's a driven professional and it's a pleasure to have him (on my team)."

Following Sunday's game the Flames will leave on their second last road trip of the regular season, with games Tuesday in Washington, Thursday in Nashville and Saturday in St. Louis.

 


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