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Flames-Blues Preview

GAME: Calgary Flames (30-16-5) at St. Louis Blues (11-30-8).

TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Calgary Flames are looking to finish their five-game road trip with a winning record. There may be no easier building in the league than the Savvis Center in which to accomplish the task.

The Flames, 2-2 on their trip, visit the suddenly rebuilding St. Louis Blues, who have a league-low six home wins.

Calgary split its last two games in Chicago, losing 2-0 on Thursday before defeating the Blackhawks 5-3 on Sunday.

Four unanswered goals brought the Flames back from a 3-1 deficit in Sunday's contest. The final three scores all came on the power play.

"I think our power play out-competed their penalty killing," said Flames leading scorer Jarome Iginla, who was held without a point for the third straight game. "They out-competed us in the first period. Going into the second, I think everybody found another level."

Roman Hamrlik had a goal and two assists for the Flames in his first three-point effort of the season and the seventh of his career. One of Hamrlik's six two-goal games came against the Blues on March 13, 1999 at the Savvis Center.

The Flames are 2-5 this season when playing on a second consecutive day.

St. Louis showed in a two-day span that it has given up on this season and is building for the future, trading its top two scorers on Sunday and Monday.

The Blues dealt forward Mike Sillinger, who led the team with 22 goals and has 41 points, to Nashville for right wing Timofei Shishkanov on Sunday night. The next day, St. Louis sent center Doug Weight, who topped the team with 33 assists and 44 points, to Carolina for three players and three draft picks.

St. Louis has reached the playoffs every season since 1980, but the Blues have an NHL-low 30 points more than halfway through the season.

In what turned out to be his final contest with the Blues, Sillinger extended his goal streak to seven games Thursday, scoring twice on the power play in a 5-3 loss to Phoenix.

St. Louis has dropped 11 of its last 12 contests, with three of those losses coming in shootouts.

Calgary has won the last two meetings in the series after dropping six straight to the Blues.

STANDINGS: Flames - 65 points, 1st place, Northwest Division. Blues - 30 points, 5th place, 41 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Iginla, 23 goals and 39 points; Dion Phaneuf, 21 assists; Darren McCarty, 78 PIM. Blues - Dean McAmmond, 14 goals; Scott Young and Petr Cajanek, 22 assists; Young, 31 points; Jamal Mayers, 100 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Flames - Power play: 17.7 percent (54 for 305), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (257 for 313), 15th. Blues - Power play: 16.0 percent (52 for 325), 21st. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (239 for 297), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (27-13-5, 6 SO, 2.26 GAA); Philippe Sauve (3-3-0, 3.28). Blues - Curtis Sanford (5-11-4, 3, 2.85); Chris Beckford-Tseu (no appearances).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: 2-2.

LAST MEETING: March 14, 2004; Flames, 3-0. At St. Louis, Roman Turek made 25 saves for his 26th career shutout and Jordan Leopold had two assists for Calgary.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 12-12-3 on the road; Blues - 6-15-3 at home.

Associated Press
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