GAME: Calgary Flames (29-20-5-3) at Minnesota Wild (20-21-15-2).
TIME: Sunday, 2 p.m. EST.
The Calgary Flames are proving that their success in the first half of the
season was no fluke.
Hoping to end the NHL's longest playoff drought, the Flames look to match a
season-high four-game win streak when they open a five-game road trip against
the Minnesota Wild.
The Flames haven't been to the playoffs since the 1995-96 season - the
longest active streak in the league.
A strong first half has put Calgary among the top eight teams in the Western
Conference, and a productive road trip would go a long way toward proving that
the Flames are a legitimate playoff team.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 25 saves and Jordan Leopold and Jarome Iginla scored
power-play goals, lifting Calgary to a 2-1 victory over visiting Anaheim on
Kiprusoff earned his second win in as many games since returning from a knee
injury that sidelined him six weeks. He has allowed two goals or fewer in each
of his last 15 games.
"Tonight was a close game, the whole team played great defensively,"
Kiprusoff said. "A 2-1 win, these are the kinds of games we want to win."
The Flames, 4-1-1 in their last six, matched their win total from last
season with their 29th victory. They are on pace for their most wins since
finishing 42-29-13 in 1993-94.
While Kiprusoff's return has Calgary's goaltending in good shape, Iginla's
scoring touch has returned to spur the offense. Iginla has 10 goals and three
assists in his last nine games.
Minnesota, currently on the outside of the playoff picture in the West,
appears ready to make a push for the postseason. The Wild have won three of
four while earning at least a point in six of seven games (3-1-1-2).
Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and Sergei
Zholtok and Marc Chouinard scored first-period goals in Minnesota's 3-0 victory
over Edmonton on Friday.
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire wasn't pleased with his team's performance in a
3-1 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday, but was happy with what he saw against the
"I think the guys, they knew the importance of this game," Lemaire said.
"You look at the entire team - try to find one player you're not satisfied
with. There's nobody."
Roloson, now officially Minnesota's No. 1 goalie, has allowed 12 goals in
his last seven games after yielding a season-high six in a 6-2 loss at Anaheim
on Jan. 23.