NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 27th
(All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (40-25-10) at Minnesota Wild (45-24-7), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will attempt to extend their franchise
best winning streak this evening when they play the first of two games in a
three-day span against the Calgary Flames at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild have won nine straight games and set a new franchise high for points
in one season with 97, besting the 2002-03 squad's 95 points. Minnesota is now
even with Vancouver atop the Northwest Division, but has played one more game
than the Canucks.
The Wild, who haven't tasted defeat since March 6 against San Jose, remained
perfect on their current five-game homestand with a 4-1 win over Los Angeles
on Saturday. Minnesota wraps the residency with two straight visits by the
Josh Harding stopped 32 shots for the Wild against the Kings while Brian
Rolston and Mikko Koivu each had a goal and an assist. Brent Burns and Pierre-
Marc Bouchard also tallied as Minnesota improved to 26-6-4 at home.
Marian Gaborik added an assist to push his scoring streak to eight games. He
has amassed five goals and eight assists over that run for the Wild.
The Wild's division rivals, the Flames, are in a tight playoff race of their
own. The club is fighting off the Colorado Avalanche for the eighth and final
playoff position in the West and currently holds a five-point edge over the
Avs for the spot.
Calgary is also seven points behind Vancouver, which is in Colorado tonight,
and Minnesota for the division lead with seven games to play.
The Flames kicked off a big four-game road trip on Sunday with a 3-2 win over
Chicago behind a game-winning goal by Roman Hamrlik with just over six minutes
remaining in the third period. After consecutive games against the Wild, the
Flames wrap their trip in Vancouver.
Hamrlik also added an assist in the contest while Kristian Huselius and
Stephane Yelle tallied goals as the Flames have won three straight games.
Miikka Kiprusoff was solid in goal for Calgary, stopping 29-of-31 shots.
Calgary defenseman Brad Stuart played in his 500th career game on Sunday.
The Flames snapped a three-game road losing streak and are just 10-18-8 as the
visitor this season.
Minnesota and Calgary have split their previous six meetings this season,
though two of the Wild's wins have come by shootout. Overall, the Flames are
10-5-1 (one tie) in their last 16 matchups with the Wild. However, Minnesota
has won three in a row at home in the series.
The home team, has in fact, been victorious in seven of the last eight
03/27 10:43:46 ET