NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 27th (All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (26-20-6) at Dallas Stars (22-19-11), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames will aim to avoid their longest losing streak in over 11 years this evening as they face a Dallas Stars club tonight at American Airlines Center that is seeking a fourth straight home win.
Nobody has mirrored the Flames' recent free-fall more than Iginla, who hasn't scored a goal in any of his last 11 games. He has just two assists in that span and not surprisingly, Calgary enters this game on a seven-game losing streak and having won just once in its last 10 games.
The Calgary captain, who still leads the club with 21 goals and 44 points, hasn't gone 12 games in a row without a goal since a 13-game rut from March 12-April 7, 1999. Iginla also remains just one assist shy of tying Theo Fleury for second most on the club's all-time list with 466.
Once contending for the top spot in the Northwest Division, the Flames have fallen eight points behind the co-leading Avalanche and Canucks as well as one point behind Detroit for eighth in the Western Conference.
The Flames will try to avoid losing eight straight tonight for the first time since December 22, 1998-January 5, 1999 and have scored just nine goals over their current slide. They were shut out for the second time on their losing streak Monday, falling to the Blues by a 2-0 margin.
"We certainly had opportunities here tonight and it's just not happening for us around the net," said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots in a losing cause. He has been in net for six of the Flames' last seven losses, posting a 2.81 goals-against average while allowing two goals or fewer in four of those games.
Kiprusoff is 6-10-2 with a 2.33 GAA in his career versus the Stars, but has yet to face them this year. Instead, backup Curtis McElhinney has split the two meetings with Dallas, posting a 2.98 GAA.
McElhinney took the loss in a 5-2 home setback on October 9, then made 38 saves in a 3-2 overtime win at Dallas on November 4. Iginla scored twice in that game, including the game-winner, and set up Daymond Langkow's game-tying goal with 49 seconds left.
That gave the Flames their third win in their last four versus the Stars and four wins in their last five trips to Dallas.
The Stars have also struggled as of late, going 4-8-0 in January. That has Dallas tied with Anaheim for last place in the Pacific Division and for the 10th spot in the Western Conference with 55 points.
The club is also coming off a shutout loss, getting blanked by Colorado, 4-0, on Sunday. Marty Turco turned aside 32-of-36 shots for the Stars, who finished a three-game road trip with a 1-2-0 mark.
"They're a good team, they do a lot of good things, they work their tail off and support each other. There's things that we want to do and that we knew they were going to do," Turco said of Colorado.
Both Brenden Morrow (oblique) and Jere Lehtinen (upper body) missed their fourth game in a row due to injury, but both are expected to return tonight. However, it was announced on Tuesday that rookie center Tom Wandell will need season-ending surgery on his knee because of a torn ACL.
Dallas begins a four-game homestand tonight and is 14-5-5 as the host. The Stars are also 11-2-2 in their last 15 at home as compared to 2-11-3 in their last 16 on the road.
Turco is 14-8-2 with a pair of ties and a 1.84 GAA in his career versus the Flames, making 20 saves in the overtime loss. Alex Auld was the winning netminder back in October to move to 6-5-2 with a 2.80 GAA lifetime against Calgary. It is unknown who will start tonight.
Loui Eriksson leads Dallas with 21 goals and has scored in both games versus the Flames this season.
01/27 10:46:53 ET