The good news for the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames is one of their losing streaks is going to end. The bad news is their defensive woes don't necessarily need to.
With each club stuck in a miserable defensive stretch, both will try to snap out of their funks Friday night when the reeling Canucks visit the Flames, who just learned their top goaltender will miss the rest of the season.
After jumping out of the All-Star break with wins in four of five games, Calgary (25-28-3) has dropped three in a row and sits just three points ahead of Edmonton at the bottom of the Western Conference.
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The Flames have surrendered 20 goals over their last four games to drop their goals-against average to 3.05, tying Ottawa and Columbus for worst in the league.
It might be hard to reverse the downward spiral after Calgary learned Wednesday that starting goaltender Karri Ramo will miss the rest of 2015-16 with a torn ACL he suffered in a game last week.
“It's maybe a little frustrating when we look at the standings and see how far down we are, but it's a business and we have to come and winning's the result everyone wants,” said forward David Jones.
Ramo's absence leaves the duties in net to backup Jonas Hiller and little-used Joni Ortio. Hiller's .886 save percentage and 3.27 GAA in 20 appearances each rank last in the league. Outside of Miikka Kiprusoff's .882 in 2012-13, no qualifying Calgary goaltender has had a worse save percentage than Hiller since the 2000-01 season.
The Flames' penalty kill hasn't done him any favors, surrendering goals in each of the last five games as opponents have gone 11 for 25 on the power play. Calgary ranks last in the league with a 73.3 penalty kill percentage, which is on pace to be the franchise's lowest and the NHL's worst since Ottawa held the same mark in 1993-94.
That number is an even worse 70.4 at Scotiabank Saddledome, which would be the second-worst home mark in league history to Toronto's 69.4 in 2008-09.
After learning Ramo's fate and that Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld defenseman Dennis Wideman's 20-game suspension for cross-checking a linesman Wednesday, Calgary dropped a 5-3 decision to Minnesota.
The loss dropped the Flames to 4-8 at home since an 11-game winning streak there.
The previous week hasn't brought any positives for Vancouver (22-23-12), either. The Canucks lost 5-2 each time on a three-game homestand to fall to 2-6-1 since Jan. 23.
Starter Ryan Miller made 61 saves between losses to Toronto on Saturday and Anaheim on Thursday, but he allowed seven goals. Backup Jacob Markstrom suffered Monday's loss to Minnesota after allowing five goals on 34 shots.
While Calgary has at least averaged 3.5 goals over its last six games, Vancouver has scuffled to a 1.8 mark over its last eight.
“We need better execution,” said Daniel Sedin, who extended his point streak to three games with a pair of assists against the Ducks. “All we can do is stick up for each other and play for each other.”
The Canucks had won nine straight in this series from April 2013-Dec. 2014, but Calgary has won four of the last five, including two of three this season.
The Pacific Division foes meet once more at Calgary on April 7.