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
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
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.