Last December, the Calgary Flames used a road trip to turn around their season.
While the Flames might not need as much help this season, they have a good chance of bouncing back Friday in St. Louis, where they open a four-game road trip against a team they've dominated in the Blues.
The Flames (14-10-1) were 11-13-5 last season before winning six straight games in the Midwest and the Eastern time zones. That helped propel them to a 42-30-10 record and a fourth straight playoff berth.
Among those six victories was a 5-3 win in St. Louis, one of three the Flames had over the Blues last season as they improved to 12-1-1 against them since a 2-1 loss on Feb. 5, 2004.
This road trip again takes them through the Midwest and into the Eastern time zone with stops in Detroit, Montreal and New York in addition to St. Louis.
Lost in the furor over Sean Avery's pre-game comments Tuesday about Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf and his girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, was a 3-1 loss to Dallas that ended the Flames' three-game win streak.
Calgary failed to score at least three goals for the first time in four games, with only David Moss finding the back of the net in the second period. During their three-game winning streak, the Flames scored 13 times.
"We weren't quite as sharp as we have been lately," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, whose six-game point streak ended. "Maybe that's part of not capitalizing on our scoring chances. I thought we could have had a few more."
It was just Calgary's third loss in its last nine games.
Moss has six goals, but three have come in the past four games, and he has a two-game goal streak heading into Friday's game. Moss has a goal and an assist in three lifetime games against St. Louis.
Iginla, who leads the team with 12 goals and 29 points, has three goals and seven points in the last two games with Blues, and 17 goals and 50 points in 44 career meetings.
Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff played well in the loss, allowing two goals or fewer for the fifth time in his last seven starts, and enters this game 10-0-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average in his last 11 starts against the Blues.
St. Louis (10-11-2) also comes into Friday's game with a punchless offense that's missing forwards Paul Kariya (hip injury) and Andy McDonald (fractured left leg). The Blues have scored two goals or fewer in five of their last six, including a 4-0 loss Wednesday at Minnesota, and they have also gone 2-for-18 on the power play in the last five games.
"We had a few chances where we don't bury the puck," David Backes said.
Backup goalie Chris Mason got a second straight start but had his worst performance in last five appearances, giving up three goals - two in a 2:20 span in the third period. He had allowed four goals over his previous five games, going 3-1-0, and is 2-2-1 with a 3.21 GAA versus Calgary.
Usual starter Manny Legace is 2-5-1 in his last nine starts since opening the season with four straight wins and is 4-5-0 with a 2.79 GAA lifetime against the Flames.