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Flames-Blues Preview

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Strong execution by its power-play unit has helped Calgary dominate the St. Louis Blues in recent years. Poor play with the man advantage on the road this season, meanwhile, hasn't kept the Flames out of contention in the Northwest Division.

With a chance to move into a tie for first place in the Northwest, the Flames look to win their eighth straight game against the Blues when the teams meet for the first time this season Sunday night.

Calgary (10-10-3) beat first-place Colorado 5-2 on Saturday night to move within two points of the Avalanche in the Northwest. The Flames enjoyed a strong overall game on offense despite going 0-for-5 on the power play.

"We played consistently, particularly in the first 40 minutes," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "We wanted to come in here and play a solid game, and overall it was a good effort."

Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist to lead the Flames. Daymond Langkow, Adrian Aucoin, Stephane Yelle and Craig Conroy also scored for Calgary, which is just 2-for-31 with the man advantage in its last nine road games.

The Flames have had much more success on the power play in recent matchups with St. Louis (12-8-0), though, scoring in every game during their seven-game winning streak in the series.

The Blues have not defeated the Flames since a 2-1 victory on Feb. 5, 2004. Calgary has outscored St. Louis 27-13 in the matchups since then.

Jarome Iginla, who had two assists Saturday, has five goals and 11 assists during a 10-game point streak against St. Louis.

Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff has also been outstanding against the Blues, posting a 7-2-1 record and a 2.27 goals-against average in 10 games against them. Kiprusoff stopped 19 shots Saturday - the fifth time in his last six contests he allowed two goals or fewer.

Kiprusoff, though, will be facing a red-hot Blues team that is 5-1-0 since a three-game losing streak. St. Louis will also be trying to win five straight games at home for the first time since Nov. 4-25, 2003.

"We're playing well in this building," Blues winger Martin Rucinsky said of his team's 8-3-0 record at Scottrade Center. "We want teams to come in and be afraid to play us."

The Blues got a strong performance from their backup goalie Friday night, as Hannu Toivonen made 25 saves in a 3-1 win over Vancouver. Paul Kariya, rookie Erik Johnson and Rucinsky all scored for St. Louis, which bounced back after seeing a four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday in Detroit.

The Blues will likely lean on Kariya, who has nine goals and 22 points in 21 career games against the Flames.

St. Louis also expects to get defenseman Eric Brewer back after he missed Friday's game with back spasms.

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