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Canucks-Flames Preview

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The Calgary Flames are mired in fourth place in the crowded Northwest Division standings. Their struggles against the division-leading Vancouver Canucks are partly to blame.

The Flames look to avoid their longest winless streak against the Canucks in 12 years when the division rivals meet in Calgary on Monday.

The top four teams in the Northwest are separated by only five points, with Vancouver (22-13-4) leading Minnesota, Colorado and Calgary (18-14-7).

Those standings would look different if the Flames had fared better against the Canucks earlier this season. In the teams' first four meetings, Calgary has been outscored 16-9 to go 0-3-1.

The Flames are just 4-8-4 in their last 16 games against the Canucks - a stretch which includes three different four-game winless streaks. Calgary hasn't gone five games against Vancouver without a victory since 1995. It was 0-3-0 with two ties in that drought, which spanned parts of two seasons.

Calgary had recorded a point in 11 straight games - tying the third-longest streak in franchise history - before its latest loss to Vancouver, a 5-3 road defeat on Thursday.

The Flames returned home Saturday and bounced back with a 5-3 victory over Anaheim, getting key goals from Kristian Huselius and Jarome Iginla. Each player scored twice, but Iginla said Huselius' game-tying tally at the 12:48 mark of the second period was the most important of the game.

After that score, Calgary recorded the next two goals for its first win in four games.

"It's the tying goal but it's also a big momentum goal," said Iginla, who ranks second in the NHL with 53 points and third with 27 goals. "He was on fire again tonight."

Huselius has seven goals and nine assists in the Flames' last five wins, but has been held without a point in their last three losses.

Vancouver takes to the road after Sunday's 2-1 win over Anaheim - its 12th straight home game without a regulation loss. Daniel Sedin scored on the power play in the first period, and Matt Cooke provided the game-winner in the second.

"Team success is the biggest thing for me and the way that I play," Cooke told the Canucks' official Web site. "But obviously I want to help out offensively as much as I can and it was nice to get on the board tonight."

Daniel Sedin has recorded a point in each game against Calgary this season, totaling two goals and five assists. His twin brother Henrik has two goals and four assists in the first four games of the season series.

Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is 12-11-4 with a 2.82 goals-against average in 27 career games against Vancouver. He struggled in Thursday's loss, giving up five goals on 20 shots before he was pulled in favor of Curtis McElhinney, who did not face a shot in the final 13 minutes.

The Canucks' Roberto Luongo gave up three goals in that game, but got his eighth win in his last 10 matchups with the Flames. He's 8-5-0 with a tie and a 2.87 GAA in 14 career games against them.

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