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Flames, Stars set to conclude season series

by Davis Harper

FLAMES (11-11-4) at STARS (12-12-3)


Last 10: Calgary 5-4-1; Dallas 4-4-2

Season series: Monday marks the third and final meeting of the season. The Flames, 7-2-2 over their last 11 against the Stars, won both of the previous tilts. The most recent, a 4-3 win in Dallas on Feb. 17, was also Calgary’s last win away from home.

Big story: More than a month after that last win against the Stars, the Flames have compiled an 0-5-1 record away from Scotiabank Saddledome. Despite their road struggles, the Flames are playing decent hockey – they carry a two-game win streak into Dallas – which is more than can be said for the Stars. Dallas has lost four in a row, including Saturday’s 8-1 home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Team Scope:

Flames: It’s been a tale of two teams all season for Calgary. In the comfort of the Saddledome, the Flames have compiled a six-game winning streak, over which time they have outscored opponents 27-13. The road, however, poses tougher questions. The Flames have won three games away from home all season, their struggles noticed most recently during an 0-3-0 swing through Southern California. In the current 0-5-1 road skid, opponents have outscored the Flames 24-8.

"We have to have that swagger," Mark Giordano said. "When we're on the road, we don't change anything. Not everything is going to go our way, but we have to put together a streak here."

Judging from its home form of late, Calgary may be on the brink of a breakthrough. In their last two home outings, against Nashville and Detroit, the Flames scored 11 goals in two runaway victories.

Stars: Dallas, we have a problem. Through February and early March, the Stars were building an impressive campaign in the clogged Western Conference and Pacific Division races. Lately, however, the wheels have fallen off completely. Losers of four straight, including three at home in which the Stars were outscored 13-2, Dallas is slipping further from the field with each passing game. On Saturday against Chicago, the Stars managed just eight shots through the first two periods as goalies Richard Bachman and Kari Lehtonen conceded four goals each.

"We dumped on our first goalie and we dumped on our second goalie," Jamie Benn said. "We left them to hang out to dry and it's unacceptable. We need to do something within this room to change that. It's an unacceptable effort. (Chicago) gave us a wakeup call."

Who’s hot: Curtis Glencross has four of his team-leading 12 goals over the past two games, including a hat trick in the 6-3 win against Nashville.

Injury report: With his wife slated to give birth to their second child, Flames starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff did not travel to Dallas. Mikael Backland (foot) is day-to-day. … Ryan Garbutt (hand) and Aaron Rome (foot) are day-to-day for the Stars.

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