NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 3rd
(All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (44-27-6) at Minnesota Wild (36-32-9), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will try for a season series sweep of
the Minnesota Wild in their final matchup this season tonight at Xcel Energy
The Flames have won all five of their meetings with the Wild this year and 10
of the last 11 in the series overall. Calgary has also won two straight and
four of its last five in Minnesota.
Miikka Kiprusoff has dominated the Wild in his career, posting a lifetime mark
of 24-6-2 against them with a tie, 1.79 goals against average and three
shutouts in 33 starts. He has a 1.56 GAA in the five meetings this year.
Another victory versus Minnesota would be big for Calgary right now, as the
club finds itself tied with Vancouver for the Northwest Division lead and the
third seed in the Western Conference with 94 points each. Both clubs also have
five games remaining, though the Canucks are idle tonight. The Flames will
visit Vancouver on Tuesday.
The loser of that battle isn't assured the fourth seed either, as Chicago is
just one point back of both teams with a game in hand.
The Flames did at least clinch a playoff spot on Thursday with a 2-1 win over
Dallas, marking the fifth straight season Calgary will go to the postseason.
Kiprusoff stopped 29 shots in his team's second win in its last three games.
Jarome Iginla scored in a second consecutive contest after going six games in
a row without a goal. Iginla has 27 goals and 49 points in 48 games versus the
Wild, but hasn't scored in any of the five clashes this year.
Craig Conroy also scored versus the Stars, improving the Flames to 19-17-2 on
the road this year. Last night's victory halted a three-game skid as the guest
and was just the franchise's second win in its last eight road games.
The Wild have alternated wins and losses over their last eight games, going
4-3-1 in that span. That has the club four points out of a playoff spot with
five games to play.
Minnesota picked up a point its last time out in a 2-1 overtime loss to
Vancouver. Marian Gaborik had the lone goal while Niklas Backstrom made 17
stops for the Wild.
Backstrom, who has won a career-high 34 games this year, is just 4-6-4 with a
2.35 GAA lifetime versus the Flames.
Andrew Brunette assisted on Gaborik's goal to give him six points over his
last three games. He leads the Wild in scoring this year against the Canucks
with three points off two goals and a helper.
Minnesota is 20-11-7 as the host this year.
04/03 10:48:10 ET