GAME: Minnesota Wild (9-12-4-0) at Calgary Flames (11-8-1-3).
TIME: Friday, 9 p.m. EST.
The struggling Minnesota Wild hope to build off their first win in two weeks
as they visit the surging Calgary Flames.
Minnesota, which made a surprising run to the Western Conference finals last
season, is struggling to recapture that form thus far in 2003-04. The Wild won
just four of 13 games in November, finishing the month on a season-high
five-game winless streak (0-4-1).
Manny Fernandez put a halt to the skid on Monday, making 34 saves for his
first shutout of the season as the Wild held off the Edmonton Oilers 1-0.
"He was in a zone," Wild captain Richard Park said of Fernandez, who has
yielded one goal in 125 minutes over his last two starts. "He's seeing the
puck really well."
The victory was the first since a 6-2 triumph at Pittsburgh on Nov. 19 for
the Wild, who have not won consecutive games since a season-high three-game run
from Oct. 28-Nov. 1.
Minnesota has managed just one goal in eight of its last 10 games.
The Flames are in the midst of their best stretch of the season, earning
points in eight straight games (5-0-1-2), and are unbeaten in their last three
On Thursday, Shean Donovan scored in his fourth straight game and Miikka
Kiprusoff made 28 saves to lead the Flames to a 4-1 win over Vancouver, pulling
Calgary within seven points of the Canucks for first place in the Northwest
Kiprusoff won for the fourth time in five starts since being acquired from
San Jose just over two weeks ago. He allowed just one goal for the fourth time.
Jarome Iginla scored two goals, including an empty-netter, and Martin
Gelinas added a goal for the Flames, who have not suffered a regulation loss
since a 4-1 setback at Nashville on Nov. 13.