Skip to main content

Flames-Canucks Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Calgary Flames (44-24-9) at Vancouver Canucks (40-30-7).

TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EDT.

Now that he has Calgary's single-season record for wins, Miikka Kiprusoff could help the Flames win their first division title in 12 years.

Calgary looks for its sixth win in seven games when it meets the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place in the season-series finale.

Kiprusoff became the first Flames goaltender to reach 40 wins after he made 21 saves Friday in a 2-1 win over Minnesota, eliminating the Wild from playoff contention.

Kiprusoff eclipsed the mark set by Mike Vernon when he won 39 in 1987-88, but downplayed the accomplishment.

"Of course, I want to win games, but I don't think about records too much," Kiprusoff said.

The Flames are the defending Western Conference champions, but have not won a division crown since 1994-95 when they won the Pacific. Calgary was eliminated by San Jose that season in the Western Conference Quarterfinal.

Tony Amonte's fluke goal less than two minutes into Friday's contest ended a career-worst 31-game drought without a goal.

"I was just trying to pass it to Matthew (Lombardi) and the guy (Minnesota's Wes Walz) stuck his stick out," Amonte said. "You could hear the crowd right away, I knew something happened. To see the puck drop in the net, I got a good chuckle out of it."

Vancouver is looking to get back into the playoff mix. With 87 points, the Canucks are in ninth place in the West, two points in back of San Jose for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Canucks and Sharks will play a home-and-home series starting next Wednesday in Vancouver that will likely determine who moves on to the postseason.

Vancouver has picked the worst time to go on a losing streak. The Canucks dropped their third straight with a 1-0 loss Monday to Los Angeles.

Alexander Auld made 36 saves, but allowed a power-play goal midway through the second period to Pavol Demitra.

"It's that time of year. Teams are making more of a commitment defensively, and goals are hard to come by," said Vancouver defenseman Keith Carney. "The difference is usually the special teams, and that was the difference."

Alex played great and kept us in there, but we just didn't have enough offensively. We were a little undisciplined. We took far too many penalties and it hurt us."

The Canucks won 12 of their first 13 and went 19-3-3 after 25 home games this season, but have stumbled since, going only 4-6-2.

STANDINGS: Flames - 97 points, 1st place, Northwest Division. Canucks - 87 points, 4th place, 10 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Jarome Iginla, 33 goals and 61 points; Daymond Langkow, 31 assists; Darren McCarty, 111 PIM. Canucks - Anson Carter, 31 goals; Henrik Sedin, 54 assists; Markus Naslund and Henrik Sedin, 72 points; Jarkko Ruutu, 134 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Flames - Power play: 18.5 percent (84 for 453), 11th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (396 for 471), 8th (tied). Canucks - Power play: 17.6 percent (87 for 494), 17th. Penalty killing: 81.9 percent (392 for 480), 16th.

GOALTENDERS: Flames - Kiprusoff (40-20-9, 8 SO, 2.13 GAA); Brian Boucher (4-7-0, 0, 4.16). Canucks - Auld (32-24-5, 0, 2.88); Mika Noronen (1-3-0, 0, 4.15).

SEASON SERIES: Flames, 4-3.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 28; Canucks, 2-1. At Calgary, Alberta, Naslund and Carter scored second- period goals nine seconds apart to lift Vancouver. Robyn Regehr scored for the Flames.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 16-17-5 on the road; Canucks - 23-9-5 at home.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.