The Calgary Flames certainly have the winning formula when they play at home. Translating that success to the road is their next challenge.
Calgary looks to end a three-game losing streak away from home Thursday when it faces the Minnesota Wild for the first time this season.
Miikka Kiprusoff continued his outstanding play, tying for the league lead with his fourth shutout of the season in Calgary's 3-0 victory Tuesday over visiting Carolina.
"It was a big challenge for our team and we did a good job tonight," Kiprusoff said. "We knew they had lots of speed and we had to match that and that's what we did tonight. They had not too many scoring chances, we played really strong defensively."
Daymond Langkow scored 28 seconds into the contest for the Flames, who have outscored opponents 27-6 during an eight-game home win streak.
Calgary (13-10-2) has won three in a row overall, but has dropped its last three away from the Pengrowth Saddledome. The Flames are 10-3-0 at home, but only 3-7-2 on the road.
Kiprusoff has left his early season struggles behind and has been one of the league's best goaltenders lately. He stopped 204 of 210 shots during the eight-game streak, and his overall 2.01 goals-against average is among the league's best.
Another key contributor lately for Calgary has been Langkow, who has two goals and seven assists during a six-game points streak.
Langkow's strong play has helped make captain Jarome Iginla more productive. Iginla, one goal shy of 300 for his career, has goals in each of last three games.
"He's a very good guy to play with," Iginla said of Langkow. "He's a very hard worker. He's not the biggest guy but he goes to the net as hard as anybody. His hands are so good around the net. As a line, I think we're starting to get more chances consistently."
Minnesota (14-11-2) ended a season-high four-game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout victory Tuesday over Chicago.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard beat Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin with a spectacular, highlight-reel backhander for the game-winner.
"I have to give credit to my younger brother for teaching me that one," Bouchard said. "He taught me that move in the summer and I figured now was a good time to bring it out."
Manny Fernandez made 27 saves in regulation and overtime for his first win since Nov. 11. Fernandez has allowed 10 goals in his last four starts after yielding 10 in his previous two.
"(Fernandez) is enjoying the game again," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "The first part of the season he was happy and really enjoyed playing. He looked like that again tonight."
The Wild expect to have right wing Pavol Demitra in the lineup Thursday. Demitra, one of the team's best offensive players, has missed seven games due to a concussion.
Kiprusoff and Calgary have won six of the last seven meetings against Minnesota. He has eight wins, three losses and a tie with a .932 save percentage in 12 career starts against the Wild.
|Mar 29 '07||CGY 4 at MIN 2||J. Iginla|
|Mar 27 '07||CGY 1 at MIN 0 - SO||A. Tanguay|
|Mar 17 '07||MIN 4 at CGY 2||B. Rolston|
|Feb 28 '07||MIN 1 at CGY 2 - SO||J. Iginla|
|Jan 26 '07||CGY 1 at MIN 2 - SO||P. Demitra|
|Jan 09 '07||MIN 0 at CGY 3||D. Langkow|
|Dec 12 '06||MIN 2 at CGY 5||J. Iginla|
|Dec 07 '06||CGY 2 at MIN 3 - SO||M. Koivu|