Record: 23-12-4 Season Series: 0-1-0 Last Five: 4-0-1
Record: 29-4-5 Season Series: 1-0-0 Last Five: 3-0-2
SHARKS LEADING SCORERS
Sharks vs. Flames 8 p.m. MT Pengrowth Saddledome Sportsnet (HD) and The Fan 960
A lot has changed for the Calgary Flames after the horrible 6-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks last November. They used that defeat to refocus and bounce back the rest of November.
"6-1 was a light score— I think they could have given it to us even worse," Adrian Aucoin commented after Monday's practice. "It was a wake up call and we had to change some little things, but they made a big difference."
As a result, the Flames had an even better December with recording at least one point in their last ten games, becoming first in the Northwest with a 14-4-3 record, and winning five in a row before the Chicago Blackhawks snapped their streak and beat them for the third time this season.
"I think we got away from our game—we didn’t keep it simple as we have been lately" Aucoin said. "I don’t think the ethic was there or the discipline in our play"
Now the Flames look to overcome the Sharks on their home turf on Tuesday. If they want to win, the top guns of the team need to be solid to prove they are a top ranking team in the NHL.
"We haven’t faired well against the top teams this is something we definitely need to do if we want to improve ourselves," he added. "Looking way ahead in the playoffs, we’re gonna have to beat these teams...just for the morality of our team we need to show we can do well."
Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri ended 2008 on a high note as they both registered five points (both netted two goals and three assists) each during the Edmonton Oilers contest. However, they fell silent during the weekend road trip to Nashville and Chicago. They both were -4 on Sunday.
On the other hand, Todd Bertuzzi got two goals including the game-winning goal against Nashville along with two assists. Daymond Langkow also got two goals.
The Sharks are looking to improve their road record as all four losses in their 29-4-5 record have come from the road. After Saturday’s win against the New York Islanders, the Sharks are one point ahead of the Boston Bruins in being the best of the League with 63.
They start their tour of western Canada facing the Flames before heading to Edmonton on Friday and Vancouver on Saturday. They're 2-7-0 in their last ten trips to Calgary.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
While Miikka Kiprusoff has been hot lately, he hit a wall against the Blackhawks on Sunday and was pulled after two periods. The last time Kiprusoff was yanked from a game was against San Jose when he allowed four goals out of 20 shots in the first period. If the Flames win, Kipper will pass Dan Bouchard for second place on the Flames all-time wins list with 169. His record against his former team is 8-6-1 with a 2.98 GAA in 15 games. He also edges Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov with two more wins at 23.
For the Sharks...
Devin Setoguchi is having an outstanding sophomore year with the Sharks. The Taber, Alberta native was promoted to the first line with Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton last November and now has 18 goals and 19 assists. Setoguchi finished December with six goals and four assists. He is eighth in the League with even-strength goals.
NOTEWORTHY Iginla will be playing his 900th game tonight. If the Flames win, Coach Mike Keenan will have 650 wins under his belt. He needs seven more wins to pass Pat Quinn for fourth in all-time wins. Former Flame captain Lanny McDonald will be honoured at the game for Alumni Night.
OTHER FLAMES MILESTONES
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Both Dustin Boyd and Mark Giordano need six games for 100 Jarome Iginla needs eight goals for 400 Matthew Lombardi needs 11 assists for 100 Cory Sarich needs nine assists for 100
Jim Vandermeer continues to be at practice and is day-to-day before he returns to the ice. Brandon Prust (jaw), Wayne Primeau (foot), and Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out indefinitely.