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Lightning pay rare visit to Calgary to face Flames

by Adam Kimelman /
LIGHTNING (15-9-3) at FLAMES (11-14-2)


Last 10 --
Tampa Bay 7-2-1; Calgary 4-4-2

Season series -- This is the only meeting between the teams this season. In their most recent meeting, Andrej Meszaros' overtime goal gave the Lightning a 2-1 win in Tampa Bay. The last time they played in Calgary was March 1, 2009, when Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each had 2 goals to offset a 5-point game by Jarome Iginla in an 8-6 Lightning victory.

Big Story --
After hitting a speed bump that saw them lose six of seven to start November, the Lightning have recovered to win seven of their last 10 and climb back up the Eastern Conference standings. The Flames, meanwhile, have alternated wins and losses over their last six games, keeping them from climbing out of the Western Conference basement.

Team Scope:

Lightning -- Steve Downie's loss could be Simon Gagne's gain. Downie suffered a high right ankle sprain last Thursday against Boston that could sideline him for up to a month. He had been playing in a coveted spot alongside Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. Gagne skated in that spot Saturday against Colorado and had his best game of the season, scoring a goal and assisting on two others.

"I think we're starting to see the real Gagne now," coach Guy Boucher told the St. Pete Times.

Flames -- Part of the blame for Calgary's 4-2 loss to Chicago on Sunday can be placed on the nine power plays they gave the Blackhawks. The Hawks scored all four of their goals on the power play.

"Obviously, they are penalties you can't take, especially early in a game like that," David Moss, who was whistled for two penalties in the first period, including a four-minute high-sticking double-minor, told the Calgary Sun. "Those ones always seem to cost you. We took way too many. We just can't do those things, especially right now. There's just no excuse."

Coach Brent Sutter was in complete agreement.

"It's just not smart hockey -- it's undisciplined hockey,” Sutter told the Sun. "It shoots you in the foot. You beat yourself."

Who's Hot --
Teddy Purcell had an assist in Saturday's win against the Colorado, giving him a career-best 13 assists. His 18 points already surpassed his previous season best of 16 points. … Flames captain Jarome Iginla has a season-best four-game scoring streak, during which he's totaled 2 goals and 3 assists.

Injury Report --
Downie could miss 3-4 weeks with his ankle injury, and team captain Vincent Lecavalier continues to recover from hand surgery. … Since placing Adam Pardy on injured reserve Oct. 11, the Flames have been completely healthy.

Stat Pack -- The Lightning are sixth in the League at 3.11 goals per game, but they have a minus-10 goal differential. Their 3.44 team goals-against average is 29th in the League.

Puck Drop -- Apparently it takes more than an exploded lip and broken nose to keep the Flames' Mark Giordano from blocking shots. The defenseman was injured when a deflected puck hit him in the face during last Wednesday's game against the Canucks. He got sewn up and returned to the game, and one of the first things he did was try to block a shot.

"Obviously, if the block's there, you're going to take it -- it's just a reaction thing," Giordano told the Calgary Sun. "You get hit in the face. I've been hit in the face before. Usually, you see them coming."

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