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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, February 29th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (20-25-15-4) at Calgary Flames (31-24-5-3), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The struggling Calgary Flames will attempt to snap out of their recent funk tonight, when they skate against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Saddledome.

The Flames have lost four of their last five and remain at 70 points for the season. Calgary remains eighth in the West, but only leads St. Louis by two points while trailing seventh place Los Angeles by two.

Calgary was handed a 2-1 loss by the Detroit Red Wings at the Saddledome on Thursday. Chuck Kobasew recorded the lone goal for the Flames, who are 3-2-1 in their last six at home. For the year, the Flames own a 16-12-4-1 at the Saddledome.

The Flames are making a push for their first playoff appearance since 1996. Calgary centerman Steven Reinprecht missed the game with the flu. Reinprecht should be able to play this evening.

Newly acquired LW Ville Nieminen made his debut for Calgary on a line with C Dean McAmmond and RW Shean Donovan. Nieminen registered one shot on goal in the contest.

Phoenix has lost two straight and three of its last four contests, including a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers Friday night. Jeff Taffe scored and assisted on another goal to lead the Coyotes, who remained winless (0-2-1-1) in their last four contests and have lost the first two games under new head coach Rick Bowness.

Jan Hrdina scored Phoenix's other tally in the loss.

Brian Boucher stopped only 14 of the 18 shots he faced to earn the loss before being pulled in the second period. Boucher fell to 3-10-4 since his streak of consecutive scoreless periods ended last month.

Jean-Marc Pelletier came on and stopped three of nine shots, including allowing two goals on only three shots in the second period.

Phoenix fell to just 2-10-2-2 in its last 16 games overall. The Coyotes also dropped to 1-19-5 when trailing after the first period this season.

The Coyotes have dropped four straight road tilts. For the year, Phoenix is 10-11-10-1 in foreign buildings.

Calgary won the first meeting of the year between these teams, 2-1, in Phoenix. However, the Coyotes are 16-4-4 in the last 24 meetings with the Flames. Phoenix is 8-1-2 in its last 11 trips to Calgary.

02/29 10:12:14 ET


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