NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 14th (All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (34-24-9) at Vancouver Canucks (42-23-3), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Flames are getting hot at just the right time. Calgary will try to match its longest winning streak of the season tonight when it visits GM Place to take on the Vancouver Canucks.
The Flames have won four straight as they try to repair the damage caused from a 4-10-4 stretch they posted from Jan. 11-March 3. Once challengers for the Northwest Division title, Calgary now finds itself a point back of Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a game in hand. The Flames are also just two points behind the seventh-seeded Predators.
Calgary, which won five straight from Dec. 28-Jan. 5, is coming off Thursday's 2-0 shutout of Ottawa. Miikka Kiprusoff made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 34th of his career.
"It's a big two points for us," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. "We found a way to win in a game where we weren't at our best. We weren't all that sharp but we did things well enough to find a way to win. With the situation we're in we can't give up points, we need points."
Jamal Mayers and Chris Higgins scored for the Flames, who have lost six of their last nine on the road.
Kiprusoff is 3-1-0 with a 3.51 goals-against average in the Flames' four games versus the Canucks this year and made 19 saves in a 3-2 shootout win at GM Place when the clubs last met on Jan. 9. Jamie Lundmark had the game-tying goal and netted the winner in the shootout.
Vancouver, which has still won seven of its last 11 at home versus the Flames, had to wait nearly two months but it picked up its sixth straight win at home last night with a 5-1 victory over Ottawa. The Canucks were playing at GM Place for the first time since Jan. 27 due to a 14-game road trip that was needed because of the city of Vancouver playing host to the Winter Olympics.
Mikael Samuelsson scored twice to give him 30 goals on the season as well as nine tallies and 12 points over a six-game point streak. Alexandre Burrows, Daniel Sedin and Sami Salo also scored for the Canucks, who went 8-5-1 on their NHL-record road trip.
"We came out and had a great first period, and I think we played one of our best games of the year tonight," said Roberto Luongo, who made 13 saves. "I think we were just excited to get back. It's been such a long time since we've played here."
Sedin pushed his point streak to nine games (2 goals, 12 assists), while Ryan Kesler had a helper to give him five goals and nine assists over a 12-game run of his own.
The Canucks, who own a five-point lead over the Avalanche for first place in the Northwest Division, won the opener of a five-game homestand and improved to 24-7-1 as the host this season.
Luongo is 1-2-1 with a 3.21 GAA in four games versus the Flames this year.
03/14 10:32:51 ET