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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 27th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (12-15-5) at Calgary Flames (19-11-4), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators begin the western part of their eight- game road trip tonight, as they visit the Calgary Flames and Pengrowth Saddledome.

Ottawa kicked off its longest road trip of the season on Tuesday in Philadelphia, where it dropped a 6-4 contest. The Senators now head out west, as they are set to visit Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton to close out 2008.

The Senators are just 3-9-2 on the road this season after Tuesday's loss. Alex Auld continued to struggle, allowing five goals on 31 shots in Ottawa's third loss in its last four games. Auld is 0-3-1 over his last four starts with a 4.67 goals against average.

Dany Heatley scored twice, including once in the third period, as he and Chris Phillips lit the lamp to erase a two-goal deficit before Philadelphia netted the next two goals. Heatley also added an assist, while Nick Foligno scored before leaving the game with a facial laceration.

Anton Volchenkov also left due to a cut to his face and both he and Foligno are questionable for tonight's game. Filip Kuba, who leads Ottawa defenseman with 22 points, missed the Philadelphia game and is out for tonight due to a groin ailment.

Despite leaving Ottawa's previous game due to an upper-body injury, Daniel Alfredsson had two assists, as did Jason Spezza.

The Flames have picked up points in the first two contests of their current five-game homestand. After a 3-2 overtime loss to Chicago, Calgary notched a 4-3 win over Anaheim on Tuesday.

Mark Giordano and Mike Cammalleri both had a goal and an assist, with David Moss also scoring. Brett Sutter, a 2005 sixth-round pick and son of Flames general manager Darryl Sutter, made his NHL debut and scored.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 30 shots in the win for the Flames, their third in four games.

Calgary, which leads Vancouver by one point for first place in the Northwest Division, will also host Minnesota and Edmonton on this stand and is 10-4-3 as the home club this year.

Kiprusoff has never lost to the Senators in his career, going 3-0-0 with a 2.19 goals against average. Auld, meanwhile, is 5-3-2 all-time versus the Flames with a 2.45 GAA.

Calgary has won three straight games against the Senators, although the clubs last met on October 12, 2006 when the Flames notched a 1-0 decision in Ottawa.

Tonight's test will also be the first meeting between the clubs at the Saddledome since Calgary notched an overtime victory on December 10, 2005. The Flames have won two straight on home ice against Ottawa.

12/27 11:08:25 ET


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