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Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - 2:00 PM ET
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St. Louis Blues captain David Backes isn't too concerned following his team's season-opening loss.

A visit from the Calgary Flames, however, might make him change his mind.

The Blues try to avoid opening a season with back-to-back defeats for the first time in five years Monday afternoon when they host a Flames team that swept last season's series and has routinely given St. Louis fits at the Scottrade Center.

The Blues (0-1-0) had several chances in Saturday's opener against Nashville, outshooting the Predators 33-16, but only Jason Arnott and Patrik Berglund found the back of the net in a 4-2 loss.

It was an inauspicious start for St. Louis, which opened last season with six straight home victories and didn't lose in regulation at the Scottrade Center until Nov. 27 - its 10th contest there.

"We'll call this speed bump in the road No. 1, nothing to panic about,'' Backes said. "We outshot them 2 to 1, we just didn't bury our chances, and they did.''

Although Backes isn't worried, starting with consecutive defeats for the first time since opening 0-2-1 in 2006-07 seems possible with a home game against Calgary.

The Flames (0-1-0) outscored the Blues 14-3 in winning all four meetings last season. They've also won six of seven in St. Louis, and are 11-2-1 there since 2003-04.

Captain Jarome Iginla and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff have been instrumental to this success.

Iginla had five goals and two assists against the Blues last season, and has 10 goals and eight assists in his last seven games in St. Louis.

Kiprusoff was between the pipes for all four games in last season's series, posting a 0.75 goals-against average and two shutouts. In 22 games versus the Blues since 2003-04, he is 18-2-2 with a 1.75 GAA, his best winning percentage and lowest GAA against any team he has faced at least nine times.

Kiprusoff, who needs one win to become the franchise leader at 263, has also recorded a 1.98 GAA in winning nine straight games in St. Louis since a 3-2 shootout loss on Jan. 30, 2006.

Like the Blues, the Flames are also coming off an uneven performance in their first game.

Curtis Glencross' goal allowed Calgary to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission Saturday against Pittsburgh. But the Flames were outshot 16-5 in the second period as the Penguins scored four times.

Calgary regrouped in the third and scored two goals to pull within one, but Pittsburgh added an empty netter to hand the Flames a 5-3 loss.

"The second period is definitely what cost us,'' said Iginla, who sat out the preseason because of back spasms. "We got sloppy, we had way too many turnovers, we didn't play good hockey.

"We played the whole period in our zone because of it. In the first and third, we were solid, but we can't give any team a period like we gave them.''

The Flames last opened with back-to-back losses in 2008-09.

Tagged: Flames, Blues, Miikka Kiprusoff, Jarome Iginla, David Backes

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