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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 12th (All times eastern)

Calgary Flames (36-23-10) at Washington Capitals (32-30-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will make their first stop in Washington in over four years tonight, when they visit the Capitals for an interconference battle at the Verizon Center.

The Flames and Caps haven't met in the nation's capital since playing to a tie on January 14, 2004. Overall, Washington is 5-0 with two ties in the last seven meetings with Calgary and the Caps posted a 4-2 road decision at the Saddledome last season.

Calgary comes into tonight tied with Colorado for first place in the Northwest Division with 82 points apiece and Minnesota is just one point away from the lead. The Avalanche, who are idle tonight, drew even with the Flames after posting a win in Atlanta on Tuesday.

The Capitals are still in the Eastern Conference playoff race, although they are currently seven points behind Philadelphia for the eighth and final postseason berth in the East. Washington is also seven in back of Carolina for the Southeast Division lead.

The Flames have won three of their last four games and are coming off Monday's decisive victory over visiting St. Louis.

In the win, Jarome Iginla became Calgary's all-time leading goal scorer, posting marker No. 365 to guide the Flames past the Blues, 7-3, at the Saddledome.

Iginla passed Theo Fleury with his 41st goal of the season, and added two assists for Calgary. The 30-year-old also has 746 points in his career and is third on the Flames' all-time list in that category behind Fleury (839) and Al MacInnis (822).

Alex Tanguay had two goals and an assist in the win and Dion Phaneuf posted three helpers.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 stops and has surrendered three goals or less in eight straight starts since yielding 10 goals over a two-game span from February 15-17.

Tonight's test marks the opener of a four-game road trip for Calgary, which is 18-13-1 as the visitor this season and has won four of its last five away from the Saddledome. The Flames will also visit Atlanta, Chicago and Columbus during the swing.

Meanwhile, the Capitals have lost two straight and three of their last five contests. They were last in action on Sunday afternoon, when they were defeated at home by Pittsburgh.

Sidney Crosby scored two goals, including the game-winner with 28.3 seconds left in the third period , as the Penguins defeated the Capitals, 4-2, at Verizon Center. Jordan Staal added an empty-net tally to arrive at the final margin.

Alexander Semin led Washington with a goal and an assist, while Brooks Laich also tallied. Cristobal Huet made 22 saves for the Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin posted two assists in the loss, but was held without a goal for the second straight game. Ovechkin has notched 13 points during a six-game scoring streak and leads the NHL with 54 goals and 95 points.

The Russian superstar is trying to become the league's first 60-goal scorer since Pittsburgh teammates Mario Lemieux (69 goals) and Jaromir Jagr (62) both achieved the feat during the 1995-96 campaign.

The Caps are playing the second portion of a four-game homestand and are 17-15-3 as the host this season. Washington has lost four of six and six of its last nine tests at the Verizon Center.

03/12 10:44:56 ET


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