Record: 33-18-5 Season Series: 2-2-0 Last Five: 3-1-1
Record: 27-21-8 Season Series: 2-2-0 Last Five: 4-1-0
CANUCKS LEADING SCORERS
Flames vs. Canucks 7:30 pm MT Pengrowth Saddledome TV: Sportsnet Radio: The Fan 960
Calgary will play host to division rival Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night before heading back on the road to face two other Northwest division clubs including the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on Thursday followed by a Saturday night game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
After a not-so-good start this month, the Flames slowly fought their way back by winning two out of three road games last week, and picking up five out of a possible six points. They continue to stay on top of the Northwest with 71 points and a nine point lead over the Oilers.
Offence was spectacular Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes. Matthew Lombardi had his first two-goal game and second multipoint game in his last four. He registered his 100th career assist on Cory Sarich’s second goal of the season. Adrian Aucoin, Daymond Langkow, Curtis Glencross and Eric Nystrom also scored. Todd Bertuzzi tallied four assists putting him in third place in scoring and bumping Langkow to fourth.
"We got some big wins there and did a really good job in getting those points—everyone contributed well as a team" Lombardi said of the road trip. "We still got things we got to get better at and take it with us this week so we can further separate ourselves from the other teams in the division."
A large part of Calgary’s success has been Miikka Kiprusoff’s superb goaltending. He stopped 32 shots against Phoenix, shut out L.A. and stopped another 37 shots against Anaheim despite the overtime loss. He is nine games away from tying his career-high of 42 wins that he set in 2005-06.
"He’s just a solid goaltender and he goes out there and does his job every night." Sarich commented. "I don’t think he is looking for recognition, he deserves a lot the way he plays every night, and he just goes out there and battles it out which is fantastic."
Coming off a 4-2 defeat over the Montreal Canadiens at GM Place on Sunday, the Canucks begin a four-game road trip with the first stop at the Dome. They have won five of six games in February.
Vancouver played the entire game without one penalty— a rare occurrence for the team. However, the Canucks’ penalty-killing unit is no match to the Flames who rank third in the NHL.
With Mats Sundin joining the Canucks last January, he is playing the second line with Ryan Kesler and Pavol Demitra in what has been dubbed the ‘RPM Line’. They have tallied 26 points together in six games, but it’s the Canucks’ first line comprising of the Sedin (Daniel and Henrik) twins and Alex Burrows that has been turning around the team and putting them as a playoff contender come April. They are tied with Edmonton with 62 points, but two wins shy. The Canucks are holding on to seventh place in the Western Conference.
Vancouver took the first home-and-home series against Calgary at the start of the season (October 9 and 11), but the Flames fought back with two wins in the second home-and home last November (27 and 29). The Flames are 5-3-2 in their last ten against the Canucks at home, and 9-5-1 against all Northwest Division teams overall this season.
The Flames and Canucks will meet one more time this season on April 7 in Vancouver.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Cory Sarich has been picking up in the scoring lately tallying five points in his last five games. He scored a goal and two helpers against the Yotes on Saturday, and picked up two assists against Montreal and Anaheim on February 7. He needs three more assists for 100.
For the Canucks...
Daniel Sedin notched a goal and an assist on Sunday putting him in tenth place in all-time goals for the Vancouver franchise. He is also three power play goals shy of sixth place in all-time power play goals of the team with 63. He has three goals and three assists against Calgary this season.
FLAMES MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Jarome Iginla needs six goals for 400 and two points to pass MacInnis for 2nd on Flames all time Miikka Kiprusoff needs eight wins for 200 Daymond Langkow needs four points for 600 Eric Nystrom needs four games for 100 Dion Phaneuf needs one game for 300 and eight points for 200 Cory Sarich needs three assists for 100
Brandon Prust (jaw) and Jim Vandermeer (ankle) continue to skate at practice with Prust expecting to return later this month. Wayne Primeau (foot) and Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out indefinitely.