NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 29th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (18-15-4) at New York Islanders (11-17-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The surging Calgary Flames will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to five games when they visit the lowly New York Islanders for tonight's clash at Nassau Coliseum.
The Flames have notched four consecutive wins for the first time since a six- game run from Jan. 21-Feb. 3 of last season and Calgary's two most recent victories have come at the start of the team's longest road trip of the year. Calgary began the swing with Friday's 3-1 win in Vancouver and then notched a shootout victory Tuesday at Columbus.
Jarome Iginla scored his 498th career goal in regulation and netted the only score of the shootout, lifting the Flames to the 2-1 decision at Nationwide Arena. Iginla's power-play marker three minutes into the third period tied the game, and moved him within two goals of becoming the 42nd player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal plateau.
He then scored in the first round of the shootout, while Miikka Kiprusoff held steady in net to help Calgary improve to 8-10-2 on the road this season. Kiprusoff made 27 saves in regulation and overtime.
"It just feels good to get the fourth win in a row, get a comeback in the third period in a tight game," Iginla said. "It was definitely a little bit of a sluggish start, but they played well, too. But we had a really strong third period from everybody to have that push to get it to a shootout."
Iginla has 14 goals this season and has tallied 30 or more markers in each of his past 10 campaigns. He is already Calgary's all-time leader in goals and points (1,035).
Meanwhile, Flames centerman Olli Jokinen is riding a seven-game point streak into tonight and has four goals and six helpers during the run.
The Islanders, who are last in the Eastern Conference with 28 points, have lost three straight games -- all in regulation -- and are just 2-6-1 in their last nine trips to the ice.
On Monday, New York was shut out for the first time since Nov. 25 as it was dealt a 3-0 loss by Henrik Lundqvist and the rival Rangers. Lundqvist made 28 saves for the host Rangers, while Evgeni Nabokov gave up two goals on 30 shots for the Islanders.
"We have to come out with a swagger, not come out and see the other team and think about how good they are," said Nabokov. "We have to come out with the mentality that we can beat any team out there, because we can."
The Isles are playing the first of two straight on home ice tonight and are just 6-9-3 as the host this season. New York has lost four straight at the Coliseum since beating Tampa Bay there on Dec. 6.
Calgary has lost two straight and four of the last five meetings with the Islanders and the Flames have dropped two in a row on Long Island after winning the previous six encounters at the Coliseum.
12/29 10:34:10 ET