Very few teams have claimed a win in Calgary this season. The Vancouver Canucks are on that short list.
The Canucks seek a season-high fourth straight win and third over the Flames in a week when the Northwest Division rivals meet at Pengrowth Saddledome on Tuesday.
Vancouver (20-18-1) started its current streak with a home-and-home sweep of the Flames (19-14-4), winning 3-1 in Calgary on Dec. 26 before a 6-5 overtime victory at home the next night.
The Flames had won a franchise-record 10 straight home games before the loss to the Canucks - only its fourth overall this season. Calgary has since rebounded with victories at the Saddledome over Los Angeles and Edmonton, and only Minnesota (16) and Anaheim (15) have more home wins this season than the Flames' 14.
After sweeping two games from one division rival, the Canucks showed no signs of a letdown Saturday as they rolled to a 6-2 road victory over Edmonton.
Red-hot Daniel Sedin had two goals an assist and defenseman Mattias Ohlund added a pair of scores for the Canucks, who have moved within one point of division co-leaders Minnesota and Calgary.
"It was a huge game for us," Ohlund said. "We've been a pretty inconsistent team this season and hopefully in this stretch of games we are realizing how we have to play."
A rejuvenated offense has been the biggest key for Vancouver, which has 15 goals in its last three games after scoring nine in the previous five contests.
"When the whole team's in on the same page and we have that energy we are a good team," captain Markus Naslund said. "We have done a lot of line-juggling and it seems like we are able to score a lot more with the combinations that we have."
Ironically, the Canucks have been scoring without much of a contribution from Naslund, their leading scorer each of the past seven seasons. Naslund has gone 14 straight games without a goal, his longest drought since going 18 in a row during the 1996-97 season.
Daniel Sedin has goals in four straight games with six total in that span. He and twin brother Henrik have combined for 34 points in the last 11 contests.
"We're playing more this year, last year, too than we were before the lockout," Henrik Sedin said. "You can say it's only a couple of minutes a game, but it makes a huge difference in getting into the flow."
Limited to one assist in the two losses to Vancouver, Flames captain Jarome Iginla has rebounded with two goals and five assists in his last two games.
Iginla had a goal and two assists in Calgary's 4-2 victory Sunday over Edmonton. He is tied for third in the NHL with 52 points, tops among Western Conference players.
Calgary's Daymond Langkow has benefited from playing on a line with Iginla. Langkow has goals in three straight games and six in his last eight contests.
"Right from the first game of the season. As he goes, we go," Langkow said. "Him and (goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff). They are the two main guys. Kipper gets it done at one end and Iggy gets it done at the other end."
Kiprusoff backstopped the Flames to wins in their first two games this season against the Canucks, but has lost the past three meetings.
|Mar 31 '07||CGY 3 at VAN 2||K. Huselius|
|Feb 03 '07||VAN 3 at CGY 4||K. Huselius|
|Jan 02 '07||VAN 3 at CGY 2||A. Burrows|
|Dec 27 '06||CGY 5 at VAN 6 - OT||S. Salo|
|Dec 26 '06||VAN 3 at CGY 1||D. Sedin|
|Dec 14 '06||CGY 1 at VAN 3||H. Sedin|
|Dec 09 '06||VAN 3 at CGY 5||M. Lombardi|
|Nov 11 '06||CGY 3 at VAN 2||K. Huselius|