Record: 36-18-6 Season Series: 3-0-0 Last Five: 4-0-1
Record: 30-24-5 Season Series: 0-3-0 Last Five: 2-1-2
WILD LEADING SCORERS
Flames vs. Wild 7pm MT Pengrowth Saddledome TV: Sportsnet Radio: The Fan 960
Despite injuries piling up in the infirmary, the Flames are starting to surge again after winning three in a row and tallying eight points in their last eight games. They are sitting pretty with 78 points in the Northwest with a ten point lead over the Vancouver Canucks.
This weekend the Flames host two more home games against the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning before embarking on a seven-game, 11 day road trip through the east.
Now’s the perfect time for the Flames’ first line to step up in scoring like their performance in Tuesday night’s matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.. Jarome Iginla totalled four points with two goals and two assists. Mike Cammalleri contributed a goal and two assists, and Dion Phaneuf also potted a goal.
Iggy’s now at 828 career points (398 goals, 430 assists) and two points behind Theoren Fleury for Flames all-time points leader. He should be able to take that crown by this weekend especially against the Wild. While he hasn’t registered a point against Minnesota this season, he still holds the record as the leading scorer with 27 goals and 20 assists against them.
"I’m relaxing more now and feeling a lot better in the last four or so games," he said. "I’m also playing with a little bit more confidence."
Kyle Greentree and Jamie Lundmark were both called up from the Quad City Flames, but Greentree was sent back down on Wednesday. General Manager Darryl Sutter had David Van der Gulik called up on Thursday. He is currently sixth in team scoring with 14 goals and 13 assists in 56 games. Daymond Langkow was skating during practice on Wednesday, but is still day-to-day before he returns to action.
The Flames have won the last three matchups against the Wild this season including a 3-2 victory at the Xcel Energy Center on February 19.
Adrian Aucoin scored the game winning goal in overtime, and Rene Bourque and Dustin Boyd also scored for Calgary. It was also the same night Bourque hurt his ankle and Mark Giordano suffered a shoulder injury after a hit by Cal Clutterbuck.
Miikka Kiprusoff improved to 22-6-3 against the Wild—nine more wins than any other goalie versus Minnesota with 9-5-2. He’s allowed two goals or less in 25 of his 31 all-time starts against them.
Since the last Flames-Wild matchup, Minnesota rebounded with two wins in a row against two tough opponents including the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. They fell to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday with a 2-1 shootout loss. Antti Miettinen scored the lone shorthander resulting in a point for the team.
The Wild are seventh in the West, but tied with 65 points along with Dallas, Edmonton and Anaheim. They begin a six-game road trip in Calgary on Friday and will be without former Flame Owen Nolan who’s out with a broken toe.
Backup netminder Josh Harding will most likely get the start at the Dome. Wild coach Jacques Lemaire was impressed with the 44 saves he tallied against the Chicago Blackhawks last Sunday in a 2-1 win.
After tonight, the Flames and Wild will play two more contests both home and away before the season ends.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Jarome Iginla is on the verge of etching himself into yet another Calgary Flames record book category. The captain has passed Al MacInnis on the all-time points list to move into second, and is now closing in on Theo Fleury's mark of 830 points. Ironically, Iginla's linemate in his first NHL game was none other than Fleury in a playoff match between the Flames and Chicago in 1996. More...
For the Wild...
Andrew Brunette returned to the Wild lineup on Tuesday after being out for two games with a knee injury. Before that he had played a consecutive 509 games. He returned to the Wild this season after playing with the Colorado Avalanche for three. He has 11 goals and 34 points against the Flames.
PREVIOUS GAME Calgary 4, Columbus 1 Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Calgary extended its win streak to three games, and now have points in their last eight after a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jarome Iginla had a four point night (2+2) which puts him two points back of Theoren Fleury for the Flames all time points leader. Michael Cammalleri chipped in with a three point night (1+2) including his 30th of the season. Dion Phaneuf picked up the game winning goal with his 8th of the season, and Craig Conroy added two assists. Miikka Kiprusoff continues to lead the league in wins, making 28 saves for his 36th victory.
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Jarome Iginla needs two goals for 400 and three points to become the Flames all-time leader Miikka Kiprusoff needs five wins for 200 Daymond Langkow needs three points for 600 Dion Phaneuf need six points for 200 Cory Sarich needs one assist for 100
Mark Giordano (shoulder), Daymond Langkow (hand) and Andre Roy (concussion) are listed as day-to-day. Rene Bourque (ankle), Wayne Primeau (foot) and Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out indefinitely.