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Flames make brief stop at home to host Coyotes

by Matthew Mankiewich /

COYOTES (13-10-1) at FLAMES (13-6-3)

Last 10 -- Phoenix 4-5-1, Calgary 6-2-2

Season series -- It's the first of four meetings this season. The teams split their four games in 2008-09 -- the last of which was one of Calgary's highest-scoring games of the season, a 7-5 win in Glendale that stopped a two-game Coyotes winning streak.

Big story -- Coach Brent Sutter ripped captain Jarome Iginla earlier this season for a lack of production, but since then, he's been the hottest Flame. Iginla has scored five of Calgary's last 10 goals and 12 of the 25 goals the team has scored in 10 games this month. That's an average of only 2.5 goals per game and part of what's ailing the Flames as of late, losers of two in a row and four of five at home. Phoenix, on the other hand, has dropped four of five on the road and lost 4-0 at Edmonton on Monday.

Team scope

Coyotes -- After a strong 9-4 start, the Coyotes have gone 4-6-1 since and haven't put two wins together in that stretch. Their road struggles culminated in the loss at Edmonton in which Sheldon Souray and Ales Hemsky scored an Oilers-record seven seconds apart.

"We didn't have enough guys hating to lose," coach Dave Tippett said on the team's Web site. "...You've got to get pissed off in this game. If you're not pissed off about losing, then you're probably not on the right team. That's as far as I can take that. That's frustrating to watch guys go out there and float around after we're down 3-0. It's very disappointing."

Flames -- Basically, someone other than Iginla needs to score. His 16 goals are good for third in the League, but the guys right behind him on his own team, Rene Bourque and Daymond Langkow with seven goals apiece, have each only scored one in the last five games.

To be fair, stealing a point in Anaheim on a last-minute Iginla goal is an achievement for the Flames, winless in nine straight games in the Pond, a lone win in 2004 punctuating a previous nine-game stretch without a win. making it 18 of 19.

And it doesn't get much easier for the Flames, who will embark for a six-city odyssey after this brief home stopover.

Injury report -- Bourque (upper body) remains on IR, while Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) is still listed as week-to-week although he has been participating in morning skates. Defenseman Ed Jovanovski is traveling with the team and is close to returning.

Stat pack -- Even though the Flames dropped both games to the Coyotes on home ice last season, they still hold a 10-3-1 record in their last 14 meetings overall. … Sutter used Nigel Dawes but not Iginla in the shootout loss at Anaheim, drawing criticism. But the numbers are on his side: Dawes is 7-for-18 lifetime (38.9 percent), while Iginla is just 7-for-24 (29.2 percent).

Puck drop -- The Flames have been able to get by on Miikka Kiprusoff's goaltending and Iginla's shooting, but no team can do that forever, which the Coyotes will set out to prove Wednesday night.

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