Calgary is coming off a gruelling, four-game road trip on which they took five of a possible eight points. They played some of the top teams in the league on the trip, including the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.
This is the first and only meetting of the season between Calgary and Florida.
The Panthers are a banged up team without some key players -- David Booth, Nathan Horton, Cory Murphy, Cory Stillman, Rotislav Olesz and Richard Zednik are all out of the line-up at the moment. Still, the Panthers seem to be finding ways to win and are coming off a 2-0 shutout of the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday in Edmonton. Expect a very sound defensive game from the Panthers.
The Flames are expected to start Miikka Kiprusoff in net tonight after he was rested Wednesday in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Red Wings. The Panthers will likely start Tomas Vokoun who has struggled this season and has just five wins. However, Vokoun has a pretty decent record against the Flames over his career. In 20 starts he has an 11-3-3-1 record against Calgary.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Todd Bertuzzi hasn't scored in 17 games. That means he is due. He had some great chances against Detroit on Wednesday but wasn't able to find the mesh. He is a little frustrated, no doubt."It's not like I'm not trying to score," said Bertuzzi. "There's nothing I can do about it, just keep working on it, keep working in practice. Sooner or later, something will fall in."
For the Panthers...
It's a roster ravaged by injuries but Stephen Weiss is the forward producing points at the moment. And he is scoring at the right time. He has netted the game-winner in the last two Panther wins. He has seven points, including three goals, and is plus 6 over his last eight games.
For the Flames this is a quick pit stop. They just returned from a four-game road trip, will play one game tonight and hit the road for two more next week before hosting Chicago next Friday...This is the third game of a five-game trip for the Panthers. They have won their last four games on the road...The line of Gregory Campbell, Ville Peltonen and Radek Dvorak have combined for 10 goals and 15 assists in their last nine games played...Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is 2-0-0 lifetime against the Panthers...The Flames are 9-3-1 when scoring first...Flames forward David Moss has nine goals, one shy of his career best. He is doing a great job of stadning in front of the net to cause havoc and is scoring from in tight.
Adrian Aucoin needs 1 game for 800 Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Daymond Langkow needs three games for 900 Jarome Iginla needs five points for 800 Miikka Kiprusoff needs eight wins to take over second place on the Flames all-time wins list Jarome Iginla needs 11 games for 900 Jarome Iginla needs 12 goals for 400 Mike Keenan coached in his 1500th game on Dec. 10 vs. Detroit Curtis Glencross played in his 100th career game on Dec. 10 vs. Detroit
The Flames will be without the services of D Rhett Warrener (shoulder); D James Vandermeer (leg); F Brandon Prust (fractured jaw) and F Wayne Primeau (foot)