Two of the NHL's biggest stars meet for the first time Monday when Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames host Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, who are wrapping up a four-game road trip.
Calgary (3-5-1) and Washington (3-3-4) have not played each other since a 3-all tie Jan. 14, 2004. It will mark the first time Iginla, a three-time All-Star and runner-up for the Calder Trophy as a rookie in 1997, will be on the ice at the same time as Ovechkin, the reigning Calder Trophy winner after a 52-goal and 106-point season as a rookie in 2005-06.
Iginla, who netted 52 goals in the 2001-02 season, is finally getting untracked with three goals in his last two games and has a team-high five. The right wing scored twice in the third period Saturday, but it wasn't enough to prevent a 3-2 loss to Nashville.
"We weren't good enough early," Iginla said. "We've been a good third period team this season, but we know we have to find a way to be better early. We need to be tied or better going into the third instead of being down."
Iginla's last four goals have all come in the third period for Calgary, which has lost four out of its last five.
The Flames have scored just 23 goals in their nine games. Daymond Langkow has just two goals - none at home - and Alex Tanguay, who scored a career-high 29 goals with Colorado last season, also has scored just twice.
Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf missed Saturday's game with the flu and could be back for this game.
Ovechkin had his four-game goal-scoring streak snapped in Saturday's 4-0 loss at Edmonton, dropping the Capitals to 1-1-1 on their trip. Ovechkin had four goals and two assists in the four games before the team suffered its first shutout of the season.
Washington opened its road trip with a victory at Colorado and a shootout loss to Vancouver, but coach Glen Hanlon was pleased with the performance in Edmonton despite the loss.
"That is likely our best game of the trip so far," Hanlon said. "To me, it wasn't really a four-goal game. I almost have a better feeling tonight than I had after taking a point in Vancouver. It's a long process to get where we want to go this year but I think we looked farther ahead tonight than we did the night before."
The Capitals would do well to play more aggressively in the first period. They were outshot 10-3 in the first period Saturday and have been outshot 44-11 in the first period of the three games on this road trip.
Goaltender Olaf Kolzig will likely be back in net after backup Brent Johnson started Saturday.
Kolzig has a 2.12 goals-against-average during Washington's six-game unbeaten streak against Calgary with four wins and two ties. He is 4-1 with two ties, a 2.34 GAA and .917 save percentage lifetime versus the Flames.
Calgary's last victory over Washington was a 5-4 overtime win March 13, 1999.