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Flames try to stay hot as Senators come to town

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:16 AM

John Kreiser - Columnist

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Flames try to stay hot as Senators come to town
Ottawa Senators vs. Calgary Flames

SENATORS (37-25-5) at FLAMES (33-24-9)

Last 10 -- Ottawa 5-4-1; Calgary 6-3-1

Season series -- The teams are meeting for the second and final time this season. On Feb. 9, the Senators held off the Flames 3-2 at Scotiabank Place. Jason Spezza's goal late in the second period made the difference as the Senators won for the 12th time in 13 games. The victory ended a five-game drought against the Flames.

Big story -- Calgary's playoff hopes appeared to be on life support a week ago after a 4-0 home loss to Minnesota, but the Flames have rebounded with three consecutive wins -- including a huge 4-2 victory at Detroit on Tuesday. The big change has been a sudden surge of offense -- the Flames scored 14 goals in the three wins. They'll hope to continue the offensive outburst against an Ottawa team that ended a three-game slide with a 4-1 win at Edmonton on Tuesday but that hasn't played well since the Olympic break.

Team Scope:

Senators -- Ottawa won 14 of 16 before the Olympics, but was just 0-2-1 in its first three games after the Games before scoring three times in the third period to win at Edmonton on Tuesday. The three-goal third period matched Ottawa's entire output during its three-game slide.

"We didn't play well the first two games after the Olympics but we had a gutsy effort to build from in our last one (against Toronto) with a bunch of guys sick," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who missed Saturday's game with the flu before matching a season high with three assists against the Oilers.

Flames -- The Flames' new No. 1 line of Jarome Iginla, Matt Stajan and Rene Bourque has been sizzling. The trio has combined for 18 points in the three games it's been together -- and not coincidentally, the Flames have won all three, including the victory at Detroit on Tuesday that put the Flames back into eighth place in the West.

"It's been great -- we've won all three games," Stajan told the Flames' Web site. "That's what you look for. It doesn't matter who scores, we're just looking for wins. We know, as a line, we've got to make sure we do our part. Right now we're clicking and we'll keep working hard and hopefully that chemistry keep building."

Who's hot -- Ottawa goaltender Brian Elliott, who beat the Flames last month, is 13-3-0 in his last 16 games with a 2.15 goals-against average. … Iginla has 4 goals and 7 points in the Flames' last three games. He now has 31 goals, the ninth consecutive season in which he's had 30 or more.

Injury report -- The Senators have been devastated by the flu, though Alfredsson was able to return on Tuesday. Defenseman Filip Kuba is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Forward Nick Foligno (broken leg) and defenseman Chris Campoli (knee) are on injured reserve. … The Flames are as healthy as a team can be with exactly a month to go in the season.

Stat pack -- Bourque, who's one goal shy of matching his career-high of 21, had a hat trick the last time the Senators came to the Pengrowth Saddledome. Calgary won that game 6-3 on Dec. 27, 2008. … The loss to the Senators in February was the first for Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in six career decisions.

Puck drop -- Ottawa's hot streak has the Senators solidly in the top eight in the East and challenging Buffalo for the Northeast Division title. The Flames are more desperate -- they enter the game leading Detroit by a point for the final playoff berth in the West. Calgary needs its new top line to continue putting goals on the board to keep ahead of a pack of teams nipping at its heels.

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 11 '10 OTT 0 at CGY 2 J. Mayers
Feb 09 '10 CGY 2 at OTT 3 J. Spezza
D. Alfredsson56173754+62034
A. Kovalev65173047+14834
M. Fisher66212546+93176
M. Cullen67142842-13022
J. Spezza46152237-61864
M. Michalek61221032-101883
C. Kelly67121628-33002
F. Kuba5232528-42620
N. Foligno4881523+133612
P. Regin6191221+41810
J. Ruutu68101020-49701
C. Phillips6871219+83712
C. Neil548917+114611
R. Shannon6051116-101411
A. Picard4541115-22011
J. Cheechoo615914-132000
C. Campoli5431114+01611
E. Karlsson4611314-41600
A. Sutton584812-37500
A. Volchenkov533912+23200
J. Winchester402911-41500
M. Carkner682810-116500
S. Donovan29134-54000
B. Lee20213-31000
Z. Smith9202+1900
R. Keller6000-1000
J. Hennessy4000-1000
M. St Pierre3000-2000
D. Smith2000-4000
K. Daugavins1000+0000
B. Elliott4423-15-310311282.56.909
P. Leclaire3011-11-2767063.00.892
M. Brodeur33-0-03871.00.966
J. Iginla67313364+651105
M. Stajan67193049+03074
R. Bourque58202848+98233
N. Hagman67211637-32341
O. Jokinen56112435+25322
D. Langkow67132134+12612
C. Glencross64151631+95622
I. White6892231+114721
M. Giordano67111627+96751
N. Dawes52101626+31432
A. Kotalik5691524-195953
J. Bouwmeester6722224+34410
D. Phaneuf55101222+34952
D. Boyd6081119+51502
C. Higgins668917-93201
R. Regehr6611415+106300
D. Moss498614-51632
E. Nystrom677714+15001
C. Conroy4821012-22101
J. Mayers563710-411901
J. Lundmark21459-6411
A. Pardy56279-34600
S. Staios44088-226500
F. Sjostrom46156+2800
B. Prust43145+69801
B. McGrattan34134+38600
A. Johnson22123+01900
M. Backlund11123+1400
S. Kronwall11123-1201
C. Sarich42033+14300
J. Jaffray3000-1000
M. Kiprusoff5930-20-912716742.18.924
V. Toskala278-12-3877053.59.877
C. McElhinney103-4-0272353.23.885