NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 23rd
(All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (14-18-3) at Dallas Stars (21-10-3), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars will take aim at a fourth consecutive
victory when they host the sliding Calgary Flames tonight at American Airlines
The Stars won their third straight game on Tuesday night, beating visiting
Montreal by a 5-2 score. Dallas, which leads the Pacific Division with 45
points, is also 11-2-2 in its last 15 contests. The Stars are also just one
point behind Detroit for the Western Conference lead.
Dallas has also won five of six and 10 of its last 12 games on home ice. The
Stars, who will close a three-game homestand Sunday against Phoenix, are
12-3-2 in Big D this season.
Loui Eriksson scored his 100th career goal and Stephane Robidas recorded three
assists in the Stars' 5-2 victory over the Canadiens. Brad Richards, Jamie
Benn, Adam Burish and Karlis Skrastins also found the back of the net for
Dallas and Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves in the win.
"I thought our team really played a good skating game tonight. That's one of
the quicker teams that we've seen this year," Dallas head coach Marc Crawford
The Flames, meanwhile, have lost three straight tilts following a two-game
winning streak and Calgary is just two points ahead of Edmonton for last place
in the Western Conference.
Calgary did not fare well against the Stars in 2009-10 as Dallas won three of
the four encounters between the clubs. The Stars have taken five of eight
overall in the series, but the Flames have four wins in their last six trips
to the Lone Star State.
The Flames will also try to improve their road play tonight as Brent Sutter's
club has lost five straight away from Calgary since a win in Minnesota on Dec.
3. Calgary has a poor 5-11-3 mark as the road team this season.
Calgary was dealt a 3-1 loss in Columbus on Tuesday, marking the third
straight game that the Flames were held to one goal. Mathieu Garon made 29
saves to help the Blue Jackets end a four-game losing streak.
Olli Jokinen scored the lone tally for the Flames, while Henrik Karlsson
turned away 34-of-37 shots in the loss.
Karlsson was making just his sixth start of the year in place of Calgary
workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff, who is expected to resume his starting role
tonight. Kiprusoff has a solid 2.34 GAA in 20 career starts against Dallas,
but his record in those games is a sub-par 6-11-3.
Calgary winger Jarome Iginla had four goals and seven points in four games
against the Stars last year, but he hasn't always fared well against the team
that selected him in the first round of the 1995 draft. In 50 games against
the Stars, Iginla has record 13 goals and 28 points, marking his lowest point
total against any of the teams has faced 30 or more times.
12/23 10:55:35 ET