Avalanche-Flames Preview

The Calgary Flames are back home now, so they can probably

expect to win this matchup of the Western Conference’s worst

teams.

The home team has won each of the Flames’ last 16 games, with

Calgary taking seven in a row at the Scotiabank Saddledome ahead of

Wednesday night’s visit from an Avalanche team that’s on the verge

of the franchise’s longest road skid since moving to Colorado.

This run of winning at home and losing on the road for Calgary

(12-15-4) continued in a dismal 2-0 loss at Chicago on Tuesday. The

Flames managed a season-low 16 shots in their franchise-record 10th

straight road loss.

“We didn’t create nearly enough, although we had some spurts in

the first,” captain Jarome Iginla said. “In the last 10 minutes in

the first we had something going, but in the second they took

over.

“We haven’t created enough on the road. And we got outcompeted

tonight – all of us – except Kip (Miikka Kiprusoff), who was great

again in net for us.”

Now the Flames will try to regroup at home, where they are on

their longest run since an eight-game win streak Dec. 6, 2011-Jan.

12, 2012.

“Our job is now we play back-to-back and it’s just to be ready

and be better than we were tonight,” Iginla told the Flames’

official website.

Colorado (11-16-4) can relate to those woes, having gone 0-6-3

in its last nine on the road. A loss Wednesday would give the

Avalanche their longest road losing streak since an 18-game slide

in the 1989-90 season, when the franchise was in Quebec.

The Avalanche are 2-10-3 away from home overall, although one of

the victories was a 6-3 win at Calgary on Jan. 31.

These teams’ other meeting also featured nine goals as Colorado

rallied from three down to win 5-4 at home Feb. 28 to run its win

streak in the series to four. The Avalanche have overcome deficits

in both 2013 victories over the Flames.

That’s been too typical for Colorado, which has allowed the

first goal in every game of this 1-6-0 stretch.

“I always say that catch-up hockey, it’s tough, comeback hockey

is not conducive for consistent winning,” coach Joe Sacco said.

“Hopefully we can get off to a better start here and score that

first goal.”

The Avalanche haven’t played since Sunday’s 3-2 home loss to

Vancouver. They play seven of their next 10 on the road.

“We just have to string some wins together here and get the guys

feeling good about themselves again and gain some confidence back

in their game,” Sacco said.

P.A. Parenteau has five points in the season series to lead

Colorado, and Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny each have four. The

Flames’ Jiri Hudler leads all skaters with six points.

Calgary will get its first look this season at Ryan O’Reilly,

who has five points in his last three games. The Flames signed the

restricted free agent to an offer sheet the morning these teams met

last month before the Avalanche matched it.

Flames winger Curtis Glencross has gone back-to-back games

without a point after amassing eight in five contests. He has no

points and is a minus-4 this season against the Avalanche.