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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, February 19th (All times eastern)

Calgary Flames (33-18-6) at Minnesota Wild (28-24-3), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will try to extend their point streak to six games in tonight's matchup with the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Although the Flames come into tonight's battle off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks, the extra-session setback did allow Calgary to notch a point in its fifth straight game, going 3-0-2 in that span. This run of points comes on the heels of four straight losses.

Miikka Kiprusoff set season highs with 43 shots faced and 40 saves, but the Calgary goaltender couldn't stop Kevin Bieksa's equalizing slap shot through heavy traffic with 51 seconds left in regulation. Vancouver's Pavol Demitra then notched the lone tally of the shootout to give the Canucks the two points.

Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow and Rene Bourque scored for the Flames, who still lead the Northwest Division by eight points over Vancouver. Calgary plays the first of back-to-back road games tonight and is 13-11-2 as the visiting team this year.

Kiprusoff, who leads the NHL with 33 wins, has been outstanding in his career versus the Wild. In 30 starts against them, he holds a 21-6-2 mark with a tie, a 1.81 goals against average and three shutouts. That includes a pair of wins against Minnesota this year.

The Flames have won seven of eight and 10 of their last 12 versus the Wild and have won in three of their last four trips to Minnesota.

The Wild have had four days to think about a disappointing loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and will hope to rebound tonight. Owen Nolan scored twice in that game and assisted on Pierre-Marc Bouchard's tally as the Wild jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead.

However, the Senators went on to net the next five goals, scoring twice while down a man, en route to the 5-3 victory.

Niklas Backstrom was in net for Minnesota over the first two periods, allowing three goals on 19 shots faced. Josh Harding relieved him to start the third and faced just two shots. However, he only halted one of them before Ottawa sealed things with an empty-net goal.

Minnesota, which is 10th in the Western Conference and three points out of a playoff spot, lost for just the second time in its last six home games and is 17-11-3 as the host this year. The club wraps a three-game homestand Saturday versus Detroit.

The Wild defense will also try to shut down Iginla for a third straight game. The star forward has 27 goals and 20 assists in 45 career games versus Minnesota, but is pointless in the two contests so far this year. He had six goals and five assists in eight games versus the Wild last year.

02/19 10:42:20 ET

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