Canadiens-Flames Preview

The Calgary Flames continue to take early leads, but holding on

to them has been a problem.

The Eastern Conference-worst Montreal Canadiens might not cause

many problems for the Flames the way they’ve been struggling to

score.

Calgary looks to extend its point streak in this series to seven

on Tuesday night when it tries to end its longest home losing

streak in two years.

While the Flames (29-25-12) have scored first in each of their

last eight games, they’ve won only two and lost three games via

shootout in that span.

Calgary – 1-5 in overtime games – fell to 3-7 in tiebreakers

with Sunday’s 3-2 home loss to Dallas.

“It hasn’t been easy losing those shootout games,” captain

Jarome Iginla said after reaching the 25-goal plateau for the 13th

consecutive season. “I honestly do feel they can go either way. We

need to keep going, moving forward and work on getting the next

game.”

The Flames are three points behind San Jose for the eighth and

final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they also trail

Los Angeles and Colorado by one point.

Calgary will try to continue its push up the standings by

snapping a five-game losing streak at the Scotiabank Saddledome

that includes three shootouts. It’s the club’s longest skid at home

since an 0-5-1 slide from Jan. 8-25, 2010.

The Flames, though, have won five in a row against the visiting

Canadiens, most recently a 4-0 victory Feb. 20, 2011, in the

Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium.

Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 39 saves in that contest, improved to

5-0-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average and two shutouts in his

last six starts against Montreal (25-31-12) by turning aside 35

shots in a 4-1 road victory Oct. 13.

The Canadiens have been outscored 23-11 while losing five of six

in this series, but at least they won’t have to face Rene Bourque,

who had two-goal games in each of the last two matchups.

Bourque was acquired from Calgary on Jan. 12 in a four-player

deal that sent Michael Cammalleri to the Flames. Cammalleri has six

goals and 11 points in 21 games since the deal, while the addition

of Bourque has done little to improve the Canadiens’ scoring woes.

He has four goals in 22 games.

Montreal, 2-7-1 in its last 10 games, has been held to one or no

goals in five of its last seven games.

“We didn’t do a good enough job of getting enough pucks to their

net and getting enough guys in front of their goalie,” defenseman

Josh Gorges told the Canadiens’ website after the club was outshot

42-22 in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Toronto. “That’s the way we have to

score and that’s what we have to be better at.”

Montreal is 1 for 12 on the power play and has four goals while

dropping three consecutive road games.

Carey Price, who made 39 saves Saturday, is expected to be in

net for a fourth straight game in the opener of the Canadiens’

four-game trip. He yielded four goals in each of the last two

contests between these clubs.

Flames left wing Curtis Glencross has a four-game goal-scoring

streak, one shy of his career high established Feb. 7-14, 2011.

Three of those goals have given Calgary a 1-0 lead.