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Two of West's best collide in Calgary

by Adam Schwartz / NHL.com
The red-hot Blackhawks face the Northwest Division-leading Flames at 9 p.m. ET (GameCenter Live) in one of five games Friday night.

In addition to the Chicago-Calgary game, the Devils begin a four-game homestand against the Senators (7 p.m. ET, RDS); the Kings make a rare trip to Buffalo; the Wild host the Islanders; and Chris Pronger and the Ducks are bound to receive some ill will when they go to Edmonton.

Here's what to watch:

* Ottawa left wing Daniel Alfredsson, who has scored 40 goals in two of his last three seasons, has just 8 goals in 28 games this season, putting him on pace for just 23 goals. Alfredsson, who has been the Senators' captain since 1999, has just 1 goal in his last five games.

* Devils right wing David Clarkson, who plays alongside Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston, leads the team with 51 hits. Clarkson, who averages just 12:34 of ice time per game, has 2 assists and 3 points in his last three games, including a two-point effort Wednesday in New Jersey's 5-3 win against the Sabres.

* Los Angeles right wing Dustin Brown, who leads the Western Conference with 112 hits, has had three multiple-point games in his last four. Brown, who was named the club's captain prior to the season, averages the second-most ice time among Kings forwards at 20:05.

* Sabres right wing Jason Pominville, who is tied for second on the team with 15 assists, has 5 assists in his last five games. Pominville, who had a plus-16 rating last season, is a minus-2.

* Islanders right wing Richard Park, who averaged 15:13 of ice time per game last season, is averaging 16:25 this season. Park, who has 5 assists and 6 points in nine career games against the Wild, leads Islanders forwards with an average of 3:14 of shorthanded ice time per game.

* Minnesota right wing Marian Gaborik, who missed 27 games with a back injury, had a goal and an assist Wednesday in the Wild's 3-2 loss to the Flames. Gaborik, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, has played fewer than 70 games in three of his last four seasons, and won't again this season.

* Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg, who leads all rookies with 16 assists, has just 1 assist in his last five games. Versteeg, who was traded by the Bruins for Brandon Bochenski, is tied for the Western Conference lead among rookies with a plus-12 rating.

* Chicago, which has won its last five games, has just one regulation home loss, the fewest in the Central Division. The Blackhawks, who have the best penalty kill in the division at 83.9 percent, have not lost a game in regulation in which they trailed after the first period.

* Calgary right wing Todd Bertuzzi, who has a team-worst minus-13 rating, scored his first goal in 20 games Wednesday night when he scored in overtime in the Flames' 3-2 win against the Wild. Bertuzzi, who had 40 points in 68 games with Anaheim last season, has 6 points in his last 7 games, giving him 22 points in 32 games this season.

* Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who is paired with Mark Giordano, is tied for the team lead with 36 blocked shots. Phaneuf, a runner-up for last season's Norris Trophy, is the only player in the League averaging more than 28 minutes of ice time.

 
* Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf, who is tied for the Pacific Division lead with 36 points, has just 1 point in his last three games. Getzlaf, whose point total has increased every season he has been in the League, is on pace for a career-high 94 points this season.

* Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who has had seven 40-point seasons, has no points in his last five games. Niedermayer, who has a career plus-180 rating, is a minus-4 this season.

* Edmonton, which is in last place in the Northwest Division with 30 points, has played the fewest home games in the League -- 11. The Oilers, who had 15 shootout wins last season, have been in just three shootouts this season.

* Oilers center Shawn Horcoff, who has 8 assists and 11 points in his last 10 games, has 16 of his 22 points on the road. Horcoff, who averages 21:33 of ice time, has played less than 20 minutes in two of his last three games. 

Contact Adam Schwartz at aschwartz@nhl.com.
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