Flames-Wild Preview

The Calgary Flames are enjoying a nice scoring surge.

The Minnesota Wild would like to be in that position.

Calgary goes for a season-best third straight victory Tuesday
night when these Northwest Division rivals meet for the second time
in four days – and first time in St. Paul in 2012-13.

Held to one total goal in back-to-back losses to Phoenix and Los
Angeles, the Flames (7-7-3) put the puck in the back of the net
eight times in wins over Minnesota (8-7-2) and Phoenix to cap off a
2-1-0 homestand. Four of those scores have come in the final period
– two by Matt Stajan in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Wild and
goals 23 seconds apart from captain Jarome Iginla and Curtis
Glencross in the final two minutes of Sunday’s 5-4 victory over the
Coyotes.

“When you get a win like that, late in the game, it’s huge for
the mental part of the game,” Glencross said. “It’s rewarding for
us and hopefully this puts a little wind under all of our sails and
we keep going.”

The Flames, who’ll play Colorado on Thursday before returning
home for two contests, are going for their first three-game winning
streak since a five-game run from March 6-15.

Finishing has been a major problem for the Wild on the power
play. Minnesota is 3 for 34 (88 percent) in those opportunities
over the last 12 games after failing in both chances on
Saturday.

Wild first-liners Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Dany Heatley have
no points in the last two games, so coach Mike Yeo dropped Heatley
to the second line with Devin Setoguchi and Matt Cullen during
Monday’s practice and moved up rookie Mikael Granlund.

Yeo said that rookie Jason Zucker could also see time on the
power play.

“We have to try something different, and I think it’s time to
try some personnel changes,” said Yeo, whose team is among the
lowest scoring in the NHL with 2.06 goals per game.

The Wild can expect to face Joey MacDonald again even though
Flames starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff (sprained MCL) appears
to be getting closer to appearing in his first game since Feb.
5.

“When Miikka and the medical staff feel they are ready to move
to the next step, you’ll see him with us,” coach Bob Hartley said
after Kiprusoff was on the ice during Monday’s team skate.

MacDonald, who made 30 saves on Saturday, has a 2.68
goals-against average while starting each of the last three games.
Leland Irving stopped 23 shots for the Flames in a 2-1 shootout
loss to Minnesota on Feb. 11.

So did Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who has turned aside 47
of 50 shots in the two games versus Calgary this season.

Iginla has just one point in those contests – an assist on
Stajan’s game-winner on Saturday – but he recorded his second and
third goals of the season the following day. Iginla has five goals
and 10 points in the Flames’ last eight games in St. Paul.

Calgary is 5-0-2 in this series since scoring twice during a
four-game skid to the Wild.