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Flames this Week: 27.10.08

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames found their groove last week, winning all three of their games. Two of those games saw the Flames fall behind early, by three goals on Thursday against Nashville, but they were able to keep their composure and consistent play to get the win - something that was lacking in early season games.

Calgary also was able to contain both Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. A solid defensive game gave them that bragging
Right now we have four lines playing well and we need that consistency going forward - Mike Keenan
right, something which most of the league cannot say they’ve done against the two young stars.

Saturday night saw the Flames visit the Coyotes and gain a 4-1 victory over Phoenix. After the game, head coach Mike Keenan credited consistency to the team’s current winning streak.
“Right now, we have four lines playing well, and we need that consistency going forward."

This week, the Flames will play two games at home before heading back on the road for a two game road trip.

Calgary vs. Colorado, Tuesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
Like Calgary, the Avalanche had a very slow start to the regular season. They began their season with three straight losses before reeling off five consecutive wins. They’ve also mirrored Calgary by having the majority of their victories come from one-goal differences. The two have met once this season and the Flames picked up their first win in the 5-4 contest.

Paul Stastny and Ryan Smyth had a two point outing in their loss to Calgary and they were present all over the ice during the game. The Flames defense will need to keep a careful eye on both in they want to keep their winning streak alive. Both players are in the top five for points in Colorado – Stastny has two goals and nine assists, making him the leader in points with 11, and Smyth has four goals and three assists this campaign.

Todd Bertuzzi was a major force in the last game against the Avalanche. He had two goals, including the game winner, and the Colorado defense had a hard time moving him around the front of the net. Bertuzzi has six goals this season.

Calgary vs. Boston, Thursday, October 30, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
The Boston Bruins will make the long trip west to visit the Flames and while the Flames haven’t had the best of luck against the Bruins in the past, they’ve had more luck against Boston while at home. The Flames overall record against the Bruins is 31-51-10-1 but their home record sits at just under .500, 19-22-4-0.

The last time the two met in Calgary was Dec. 17, 2005 and the Flames picked up the 3-0 victory. The last time Boston won in the Saddledome was Oct. 18, 1997 in another 3-0 game.

The Bruins only have three wins in eight games this season but they are coming off a 5-4 victory against Atlanta. In the game, Milan Lucic scored his first career hat trick and pushing him to second in the Bruins points leaders with seven in eight games. Former Flames Stephane Yelle and Andrew Ference also helped out in the win with Yelle scoring and Ference picking up a helper. Ference already has four assists this season.

In addition to Lucic, the Flames have to be careful when Marc Savard and Phil Kessel are on the ice. Savard has five goals and 11 points this season and Kessel leads the teams in goals with six. They’re the Bruins most dangerous offensive threats and the defense are going to have to shut them down in order to get the victory.

Another former Flame Chuck Kobasew has been having sluggish start to his season. The right winger has just two assists to his name so far.

The Bruins will stop in Edmonton on Monday before heading into Calgary.

Calgary vs. Los Angeles, Saturday, November 1, 8:00 p.m. at the Staples Center, CBC & The FAN 960
Last season, the Flames took the season series against the Kings 3-1 and Daymond Langkow really dominated the ice during those games. Langkow scored all three of the winning goals in those games and had eight goals in the four game series.

The Kings have a few new additions though so this season could prove a bit more difficult for the Flames in their three game series.

Former Oiler Jarret Stoll has had an immediate impact in LA. He has four goals in seven games and the change of scenery has seemed to help the centreman. He helped power the Kings to a 4-0 win over St. Louis on Friday.

Dustin Brown has also had a good season so far. The 23 year-old has four goals and three assists and his presence has been felt all over the ice. Although this is only his fourth season in the NHL, he’s got great hockey sense.

Goaltending has been an issue in Los Angeles for awhile but Jason LaBarbera has had a decent opening to his season. He’s 3-3, has a 2.88 GAA and a .891 save percentage.

Calgary vs. Anaheim, Sunday, November 2, 7:00 p.m. at the Honda Center, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
The Anaheim Ducks head into the week riding on a three-game winning streak and some confidence. The Ducks lost four straight at the beginning of the season but have picked up steam at the end of October.

There isn’t one just one or two players that have been contributing offensively. The Ducks have been getting scoring from all lines and the defense. In fact, the Duck with the most goals this season is Francois Beauchemin with three. Corey Perry is leading Anaheim in points with six – and he only has one goal.

The Flames will need to play a very consistent game in order to hem the Ducks in since all their lines are legitimate scoring threats.

Anaheim took last season’s four game series 3-1 and Scott Niedermayer had the game winner in two games. He had three goals and an assist against the Flames. His blast from the point helped the Ducks score seven power play goals in the series last season so Calgary has to stay out of the box if they want to win.

This Week’s Key Numbers
Captain Jarome Iginla is heating up and heads into the week with two straight three-point games including a hat trick against Nashville.
Miikka Kiprusoff’s GAA has improved to 3.36 and his save percentage has been lifted to .888. He had a very solid week that saw him limit two teams to only a goal. He has saved 241 shots this season.
Former Flames Andrew Ference, Chuck Kobasew and Stephane Yelle will visit Calgary for the first time in a Bruins uniform. Ference and Kobasew were traded to Boston on February 10, 2007 in exhange for Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and a fourth round draft pick (T.J. Brodie).
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