NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 3rd
(All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (17-6-3) at Phoenix Coyotes (15-11-1), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Jarome Iginla was named the NHL's top star for November on
Monday, but he hasn't even been the hottest player on the Calgary Flames'
current road trip.
Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff seeks a third shutout in a row this evening, when
Calgary tries for a fifth straight road win over the Phoenix Coyotes at
Kiprusoff began the Flames' road trip by stopping all 40 shots faced in a 3-0
win at Detroit last Friday. After backup Curtis McElhinney backstopped Calgary
to a 4-3 shootout win in Columbus the following night, Kiprusoff made 22 saves
in a 5-0 thrashing of Nashville on Monday.
Kiprusoff notched his third shutout of the season and 33rd of his career.
Iginla, meanwhile, was one of five different goal scorers for the Flames. He
wrapped up November with 13 goals and 20 points in 14 games.
"When you have a guy [Iginla] with that much talent, it's just a matter of
time until they start going in, and when they do you know he can get it
rolling," said Calgary's Nigel Dawes, who scored in a career-high fourth
straight game on Monday. "He's scored some huge goals for us and some timely
ones, and that's what you expect from your leader."
Dawes' goal-scoring run began with a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes on November
25 that also kick-started the Flames' current four-game win streak. Kiprusoff
made 27 saves, though it was one of two games last month that Iginla failed to
notch a point.
Calgary has won two straight and six of its last eight versus Phoenix,
including four in a row in Arizona.
That was also the Flames' last home game before their current six-game road
trip. Calgary set a club record with Monday's win at Nashville, as it has
notched a point in 10 straight on the road. The Flames are 8-0-2 in that span
and 10-1-3 overall as the guest this year.
Though the Flames' Cory Sarich is questionable for tonight's game, teammate
Rene Bourque is set to return from a six-game absence due to an upper-body
The Coyotes have won two straight, posting a 3-2 overtime triumph at Anaheim
on Sunday. Jim Vandermeer had a goal before his shot in overtime hit off
teammate Shane Doan's hip and into the net. Doan was credited with his seventh
goal of the year and just his second in his last 10 games.
"I just happened to be standing in front, and [Vandermeer] knows I haven't
been able to bury one lately so he had to bounce it in off me, I guess," Doan
told Phoenix's Web site. "It's okay, though. I'll take it."
Matthew Lombardi also lit the lamp for the Coyotes, Robert Lang had a pair of
assists and Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves.
Phoenix was without Peter Mueller (upper body) and Ed Jovanovski (lower body),
with both players questionable for tonight.
Bryzgalov made 24 saves in the earlier loss to the Flames, but is just 3-7-1
with a 3.11 goals-against average lifetime versus them.
12/03 10:48:35 ET