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Kings have dropped nine of 11 games

1/19/2003

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Rob Niedermayer made the most of a
breakaway in overtime.

Niedermayer's fourth goal of the season at 2:42 of the extra
period gave Calgary a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings and
snapped the Flames' five-game winless skid.

"A win like this really boosts our confidence and hopefully
it's something we can build on and move forward with,'' Niedermayer
said.

Niedermayer outskated Los Angeles' Ziggy Palffy and Jason
Allison for a loose puck at center ice, and with them both in
pursuit, he raced in on goalie Felix Potvin and fired a shot past
him on the blocker side from 20 feet out.

"I was getting chased from behind and I just wanted to get a
good shot away quick,'' Niedermayer said.

The sequence began deep in the Calgary zone but as Allison
circled the net and tried to center the puck, it glanced off Flames
defenseman Toni Lydman and past Kings defensemen Mattias Norstrom
and Dmitri Yushkevish.

"It's the honesty of the game,'' Flames coach Darryl Sutter
said. "He (Niedermayer) has played really well for us since he
came back from his injury. He's being rewarded on the scoresheet
for the jobs he's doing in the tough areas of the game.''

Craig Conroy also scored for Calgary. Tied with Nashville for
last place in the Western Conference, the Flames have a tie and a
win in their first two games of a five-game homestand.

"Darryl said right from the start that we had a big homestand
here and he wanted us to do well and get some points which is what
we need to do if we're going to jump back into the playoff
picture,'' Niedermayer said.

Palffy had the lone goal for Los Angeles.

"It was a tough way to lose,'' Kings coach Andy Murray said.
"We certainly had the early chance on a 3-on-2 rush and just
missed. We were pressing and they got the winning goal.''

The Kings have lost nine of 11.

"We played a better hockey game but still, we're not going to
win if we only score one goal,'' Palffy said. "It's a tough loss
for us, we're battling for that eighth spot in the conference and
we know Calgary's behind us.''

Calgary took a 1-0 lead just 1:04 in.

Dave Lowry's shot from the slot was stopped by Potvin but the
rebound came out to Conroy who made a neat move in tight and tucked
in his 12th of the season.

The lead lasted just over five minutes before Palffy tied it
with a short-handed goal at 6:27.

Chris Drury's pass at his own blue line deflected into the air
off Steven Heinze and was gloved down by Palffy, who burst in on
Roman Turek and scored his team-leading 14th goal.

Palffy's first short-handed goal of the season marked the
league-leading ninth time Calgary has given up a goal while on a
power play. Calgary's 26th-ranked power play squandered six
chances.

Potvin was busiest in the third period as he was forced to make
14 saves after facing just 12 shots through 40 minutes.

Turek finished with 18 saves to improve to 13-17-5.

Alexander Frolov nearly put Los Angeles into the lead seven
minutes into the third period when he neatly spun around defenseman
Denis Gauthier on his way to the net, but his close-in shot hit the
post.

Los Angeles entered with seven players hurt, and defenseman
Lubomir Visnovsky was helped off the ice six minutes in after he
sprained his left knee. Heinze fell awkwardly onto Visnovsky's leg
in the Kings' end.

The Flames also sustained a self-inflicted casualty as
Oleg Saprykin left in the second period after he banged knees with
teammate Jarome Iginla. Saprykin's injury was also diagnosed as a
sprained knee.

Game notes
Calgary C Steve Begin has been cleared to play after
recovering from a concussion. ... Conroy's goal was the 100th of
his NHL career. ... Flames rookie D Jordan Leopold will play in the
NHL YoungStars Game during the All-Star break.