NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 11th (All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (37-25-5) at Calgary Flames (33-24-9), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Having just picked up their first win since the Winter Olympics break, the Ottawa Senators will now try to pick up their first victory in Calgary since 2003 when they visit the Flames tonight at Pengrowth Saddledome.
The Senators dropped their first three games when the NHL returned from its two-week hiatus during the Olympics, scoring just three goals over that slide. However, they broke out on Tuesday in a 4-1 triumph over the Oilers.
Chris Kelly had a goal and an assist while Mike Fisher, Matt Cullen and Milan Michalek also scored for the Senators, who pulled into a temporary first-place tie with Buffalo in the Northeast Division. However, the Sabres moved two points up on Ottawa with a victory over Dallas on Wednesday night.
"As soon as they got up 1-0, I thought we really buckled down and started pressuring even more," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "Our patience paid off."
Daniel Alfredsson posted three assists and Brian Elliott made 18 saves in the victory, as the Senators kicked off a three-game tour through Western Canada by winning for the eighth time in their last 11 road games.
Ottawa defenseman Filip Kuba missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury and did not travel with the team out West.
Elliott made 27 saves in a 3-2 home victory over the Flames on February 9, with Jason Spezza's second-period goal proving to be the difference. The win snapped Ottawa's five-game losing streak to Calgary, and the Sens picked up their first win in the series since February 21, 2004.
The Senators have still lost three straight at Calgary, where they haven't won since January 9, 2003. They dropped a 6-3 test in their most recent visit to Pengrowth Saddledome last season, as the Flames' Rene Bourque notched his first career hat trick.
Bourque was also front and center of the Flames' most recent victory, a 4-2 triumph over Detroit that pushed Calgary a point ahead of the Red Wings for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Bourque assisted on Jarome Iginla's game-tying goal 5:45 into the third period and then netted the game-winner 91 seconds later. Chris Higgins later sealed things with an empty-net goal, while Daymond Langkow also scored in Calgary's third straight win.
"He's been playing great," Matt Stajan told Calgary's Web site of Bourque. "He's a fast guy and we've been able to do some give-and-go plays, work the corners a bit, and it's opened up some space in the offensive zone to find Jarome or find our point man."
Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves to help the Flames post their longest winning streak since a five-game run from December 28-January 5.
Iginla has four goals and three assists over his last three games and leads the club with 31 goals and 33 helpers. He had a pair of assists in February's loss to the Senators, giving him six goals and five helpers in 18 career games against them.
03/11 11:07:03 ET