Kiprusoff the difference for Flames against reeling Kings

CALGARY, Alberta -- Fan favorite Craig Conroy earned a standing ovation for his first goal of the season for the Calgary Flames.

Conroy broke a second-period tie with his timely goal, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves for his 20th victory of the season in the Flames' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.

"That's what makes it so special for me playing in Calgary," Conroy said. "If I'm walking into Wal-Mart or wherever I am, they're like: 'You're going to get one, don't worry Connie.' It's a special place for me."

Rene Bourque opened the scoring for Calgary at 6:21 of the first period, and Scott Parse tied it 15 seconds into the second. Bourque then helped set up Conroy's go-ahead goal at 2:48 of the second period.

The 38-year-old Conroy scored into an empty net after Eric Nystrom raced in and checked Kings goalie Erik Ersberg into the end boards, knocking him off the puck, and Bourque quickly passed it out to Conroy.

"I just happened to be in the right spot -- finally. I haven't felt like I've been in the right spot all year," Conroy said. "When it finally went in, seeing that red light was all I was waiting for."

Kiprusoff stopped Dustin Brown on a penalty shot in the second.

The Flames (22-12-5) won consecutive games for the first time in a month and snapped a three-game winless skid on home ice. The Kings (22-15-3) have lost four games in a row for the first time this season.

The game got off to a rousing start with Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf ejected 5 minutes into the first period after ramming Kings scoring leader Anze Kopitar into the boards in the Calgary end. Phaneuf was assessed a boarding major and game misconduct on the play, which resulted in the 22-year-old Slovenian having his helmet fly off as his head hit the dasher where the boards meets the glass.

Kopitar remained down for a couple minutes before leaving the ice under his own power. While the penalties from the ensuring melee were being sorted out, coaches Brent Sutter of the Flames and Terry Murray of the Kings got into it with a verbal exchange.

"That's one of the dirtiest hits in the game," Murray said. "That's been addressed at the league level and that's why the referee called a game misconduct."

Sutter saw it differently.

"It's a non-call. The icing was waved off, it's a foot race for the puck," Sutter said.

Kopitar didn't miss any shifts, and the Saddledome crowd soundly booed him each time he touched the puck the rest of the game.

Kings defenseman Sean O'Donnell was one of the first players to jump into the scrum after the hit.

"It's just a dirty play," O'Donnell said. "We talk about the players not having respect and why are there so many concussions. He didn't have to do that. He plays hard. He's not the brightest guy. He runs around a little bit.

Game notes
Kiprusoff is 20-10-5. ... Ersberg finished with 19 saves. ... The Flames were 0 of 5 on the power play. They are 5 for 51 in the past 12 games.