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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 7th (All times eastern)

Calgary Flames (45-28-6) at Vancouver Canucks (42-27-10), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will try to clinch the Northwest Division crown in tonight's road contest against the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.

The Flames and Canucks have been battling down the stretch for the division title. Calgary had held a once-comfortable edge over Vancouver for the top spot, but saw the Canucks play solid hockey from February on to make it a race.

However, while the Flames have won two of their last three games, the Canucks have lost three straight to fall two points back of Calgary with three games to play. That means Calgary will clinch its first Northwest Division title since 2005-06 with a regulation win tonight, as it owns the tie-breaker with Vancouver thanks to three more wins.

Jarome Iginla has helped push his team towards a division title and what would be the third seed in the Western Conference. He had a goal -- his 34th of the season -- and an assist in Monday's 4-1 win over Los Angeles that put Calgary back in first place over Vancouver, giving him a goal in three of his last four games.

Mike Cammalleri, meanwhile, leads the Flames with 36 goals but had gone six straight games without a point prior to notching a pair of assists versus the Kings. Daymond Langkow, David Moss and Jim Vandermeer also scored versus the Kings.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves to earn his 45th win of the season, the fourth highest total in league history. With three games to go, he is three wins shy of matching Martin Brodeur's single-season record of 48 victories set in 2006-07.

The Flames will try to right the ship on the road tonight, as they have lost four of five and seven of their last nine as the guest. Calgary, which is 19-18-2 on the road this year, has split its two meetings in Vancouver so far this year and is 2-1-2 versus the Canucks this season.

Kiprusoff has been in net for all five meetings, posting a 2-1-2 record.

Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo, meanwhile, has won all three of his matchups against the Flames this season, posting a 2.23 goals against average. However, he has allowed a total of 13 goals over Vancouver's current three-game skid.

Luongo made 22 saves in Sunday's 4-1 loss to lowly Colorado. Pavol Demitra had the lone goal for Vancouver, giving him 20 goals on the season for the 10th time in his career.

The Canucks couldn't have picked a worse time for their longest losing streak since dropping eight in a row from January 9-31. In addition to possibly losing out on the division title, and the West's third seed, Vancouver trails Chicago by three points for the fourth spot in the conference.

The Blackhawks also hold a game in hand and can clinch the fourth seed over the Canucks with a win in Nashville tonight coupled with a Vancouver loss to Calgary.

Vancouver, 22-12-5 at home this year, has lost back-to-back home games since winning a franchise-record 11 straight as the host. The Canucks end a three- game homestand on Thursday versus Los Angeles.

04/07 10:56:58 ET


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