FLAMES (6-6-2) at WILD (8-4-3)
TV: SNET-W, SNET-CGY, FS-N
Last 10: Calgary 4-6-0; Minnesota 6-3-1
Big story: For its entire history, Minnesota considered Calgary a division rival in the old Northwest Division. But the NHL's realignment for the 2013-14 season has separated the two franchises. Tuesday night will be the first game between the now former division rivals since the League's most recent realignment.
Flames: The Flames were not expected to be a factor in the Stanley Cup Playoff race this season, but Calgary sits in sixth place in the loaded Pacific Division and its .500 record indicates the team is surpassing expectations so far. That point was driven home Sunday night, when the Flames opened their current four-game road trip with an overtime win against the defending-champion Chicago Blackhawks. That win was all the more impressive considering Calgary goalie Reto Berra was making his first NHL start. He made 42 saves in the victory.
"Everything went through my mind," Berra said. "Right after lunch I always sleep, but today I couldn't sleep. I was really nervous. But right before the game, when I was just sitting in here, I just thought, 'Go out and play your game and have fun. You have nothing to lose.' I put the excitement and nerves into a positive energy."
Berra's reward for such an impressive debut could be another start in net Tuesday night, but the schedule doesn't get much easier for the Flames or their Swiss netminder. After playing the Wild, Calgary wraps up its road trip with visits to the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche.
Wild: Few teams in the NHL this side of Colorado are playing quite as well as the Wild right now. Minnesota has won five of its past six games, which has lifted the Wild to third place in the Central Division with just three points separating them from second-place Chicago. Minnesota looked particularly strong in its win Sunday night, a 4-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils, which marked an emotional night for Zach Parise, who was playing his former team for the first time since signing a 13-year contract with Minnesota in July 2012.
"As a player, you always hate practicing and scrimmaging against your own team and that's what it felt like for me tonight the whole game," Parise said. "They don't give you much offensively, they play well systematically. Not a lot of room out there, fortunately, we were pretty opportunistic. When we did get our chances, we put them in."
Minnesota's game against Calgary will be its last on the team's current four-game homestand. The Wild hit the road Thursday night to visit the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
Who's Hot: Curtis Glencross has three goals and two assists over a current four-game point streak for the Flames. ... Jason Pominville, who was named the NHL's first star of the week on Monday, has six goals and two assists in his past four games.
Injury Report: Defenseman Chris Breen (abdominal injury) and forward Lee Stempniak (broken foot) are both out indefinitely for Calgary. Flames captain Mark Giordano (broken ankle) is out until early December. … Minnesota recently activated forward Charlie Coyle (sprained knee) off injured reserve and he will be in the lineup.
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