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Posted On Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 3:42 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are putting the Battle of Alberta on the backburner as each club tries to shake its respective slump.

"I don't think location is a huge priority right now. We need to get a win and it doesn't much matter where," said general manager Craig MacTavish, whose Oilers have won three straight at Scotiabank Saddledome. "We've had great history against the Flames and great rivalries against the Flames for many, many years. I think it's dying down a little bit right now, but we're in search of a win, for sure."

The Oilers (7-21-7) haven't won in eight straight games and have one win in their past 20.

They'll line up against the Flames (18-15-3), who themselves have just one win in their previous nine. It came in the Flames final game before the holiday break by way of a 4-3 overtime win Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Posted On Friday, 12.19.2014 / 3:32 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames insist they don't need to work harder to snap a six-game losing streak. They just need to work a little smarter.

The Flames, who last won Dec. 4, plan to simplify things when they host the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

"Let's relax a little bit. That's our message to our guys," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "I really believe that they want to achieve so well, they want to perform so well, that sometimes more is not better. We're pressing, we're pushing. But sometimes it's not always the right situation.

"It's just a matter of getting back to our game. Let's cool down. The thing that I appreciate the most from our guys is the effort. But right now let's put a little bit more focus and poise in our efforts. I think that we're going to get back to the team that we were."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 3:20 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Flames

CALGARY -- The New York Rangers are rolling. They're focused on keeping it that way.

Winners of three in a row, the Rangers are looking for a three-game sweep of Western Canada at the expense of the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

"I'm really focused on our team and how we need to play," said coach Alain Vigneault, who has seen the Rangers earn wins against the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers to start a four-game road trip that will conclude Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. "We did what we had to do in Edmonton. We played a real strong game in Vancouver. We're on a streak here of three wins and we need to put a streak together. It's a real tough conference and we need to focus on tonight and our game."

The Rangers' game has been working of late. Not only have they won three straight to match a season-high, they've also allowed six goals in seven wins spread over their past 10 games.

Posted On Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 3:32 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Flames

CALGARY -- The San Jose Sharks will put their season-high three-game winning streak on the line against the Calgary Flames, a team which kick-started a run of their own at the Sharks’ expense over a week ago.

The Flames have won four straight games, a winning streak which began with a 2-0 victory in San Jose on Nov. 26. The defeat left the Sharks winless in four before rallying for three consecutive wins.

"We’re finding ways to win," Sharks center Logan Couture said after the morning skate. "We’re doing a lot of good things. Low scoring games, high scoring games, we’re finding a way to win. Earlier in the season it seemed like we were just finding a way to lose the game by a goal or two. It’s little plays in the game that we’re making now. It’s nice to win a couple games in a row. We’ve got to keep it going, though."

Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 3:10 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Flames

CALGARY -- It's not completely familiar territory to Colorado Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla, but his second return to Calgary as a member of the opposition has him feeling a little more comfortable.

Though he played 608 games in Scotiabank Saddledome as a member of the Calgary Flames, Iginla will suit up for the second time in the visitor's dressing room Thursday.

"The first time definitely a lot of things were surreal," said Iginla, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 28, 2013 in exchange for forwards Kenny Agostino and Ben Hanowski, plus a first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft that was used to select Morgan Klimchuk. It was a trade that signaled a Flames rebuild.

"It was fun last time but I think every time coming is going to be special," Iginla said. "Playing here, a lot of great memories and living in the city for so long. But it's a little more relaxed and a little more focused on hockey.

"Different buildings around the League you get a good energy playing in and you like some better than others and I think this is always one that has good memories. Hopefully that energy not to be overboard but just to use that in a positive way."

The Saddledome is home to 268 of Iginla's 564 career NHL goals, and he has 570 of his 1,182 career points came in Calgary’s building, too.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 3:03 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Flames

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler and goaltender Karri Ramo will look to keep personal streaks alive Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes.

Ramo stopped 26 shots for his second consecutive shutout and Hudler had a goal and two assists to extend his goal scoring streak to four games in Calgary's 3-0 win against the Coyotes at Gila River Arena last Saturday.

Each will put their runs on the line again against Arizona at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"It's just a bit of luck," Hudler said. "We don't get over-excited about it though.

"It gives you that extra confidence. You know you're going to play well. We've got a good group of guys. You feel better. You feel like you want to make that extra move without messing it up. It's going well right now."

Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 2:51 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Flames

CALGARY -- The streak is over.

After setting a New Jersey Devils franchise record for consecutive starts to start a season at 20 in Friday’s 2-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers, goaltender Cory Schneider will give way to Scott Clemmensen on Saturday.

"I'm ready for it, you know?" Clemmensen said. "I understand what my role is here with the organization and with this team. This is Cory's team, obviously, and the backup goalie is here to support him and push him and play the best he can. It goes without saying the role is one of which you have to be ready at all times. You know you are not going to play much but it goes without saying in this League you have to be ready at all times."

Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:10 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Flames

CALGARY -- Adam Clendening's patience is about to pay off.

The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman will make his NHL debut Thursday against the Calgary Flames with Trevor van Riemsdyk sidelined 3-4 months with a left patella fracture.

"The nerves are OK," Clendening said following the Blackhawks morning skate. "The guys are really comforting. They're just trying to make me feel at ease. It's nice. The smile hasn't gone away. I'm sure it won't for a while.

"I'm just going to take it all in. You only get to do it once, right?"

Posted On Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 2:32 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Ducks at Flames

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller is a veteran of 339 NHL games. Number 340, though, will feature a first for the 32-year-old.

It will come against the only team he's never faced: the Anaheim Ducks.

Hiller is set to face the Ducks for the first time, the team with whom he spent his first seven seasons and 326 games of his NHL career.

"It definitely makes it a little more special than a regular game," Hiller said. "I'm definitely excited about it, especially when I found out I would start. I'm still excited about that. Hopefully I can carry that over and play well.

"Thinking about it, it definitely makes it a little more special, but in the end it's two points we want to win [Tuesday]. That's got to be the goal."

Posted On Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 3:25 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Flames

CALGARY -- Goaltender Craig Anderson will earn his third straight start and fifth in the past six games as the Ottawa Senators conclude a three-game road trip through Western Canada against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

It’s just the second time Anderson has started back-to-back-to-back games this season, but the reasoning is simple for Senators coach Paul MacLean.

“Craig’s just played very consistent goaltending for us,” he said. “He gives us a chance to win. It’s that easy.”

Anderson is 5-2-3 this season, his 2.05 goals-against average ranks seventh in the NHL and his .942 save percentage is best among goaltenders with at least 10 appearances. The 33-year-old hasn’t lost in regulation since a 2-1 defeat against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 26, a 43-save effort.

He’s got the full confidence of the Senators.

“He’s been unbelievable all year,” forward Chris Neil said. “It’s not just this road trip. I think it’s nice that we do have the tandem that we do with Robin [Lehner] and Craig that you can rely on both of them. He’s given us a chance to win every night. That’s what you need from your goalies, even if you aren’t playing your best game you’re able to get points out of it. That’s key.

“I think that Anderson has solidified the No. 1. He’s our guy. But Robin does a good job of pushing him with how he’s played and how he’s performed this year.”

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I would definitely love to play with him. He's a skilled player and over the years he definitely has shown that he can score a lot of goals. I think it would work out well.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on Alexander Semin