CALGARY, Alberta — The Calgary Flames hope to turn frustration into success when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.
Following their league-mandated five-day break, the Flames (28-26-3) returned to action at home Monday and were blanked 5-0 by the Arizona Coyotes.
“We were pretty mad after the game and (ticked) off,” right winger Michael Frolik told reporters after the Flames practiced at the Saddledome on Wednesday. “This morning, we realized we just need to put it behind us and make sure we’re ready for the next one.”
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That next one is against the Flyers (27-22-7), who are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory at home over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
The Flyers also play the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday before wrapping up their three-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday afternoon.
“Every single thing that we do on this road trip is going to be huge for us,” said right winger Wayne Simmonds, who scored 64 seconds into the extra session against the Sharks. “We’ve got to make sure we come back with as many points as possible. It would be nice to get the full six, but that’s the mindset we’re going out there with.”
The Flyers and Flames find themselves in similar positions as both are on the outside of the playoff picture.
“All the teams around us are winning,” Flyers defenseman Mark Streit said. “They’re playing good hockey and we need to do the same thing. We have a great group, a great atmosphere, all the confidence. I think it’s always good for us to go out on the road for a week or so and it comes at the right time, for sure.”
While Philadelphia is battling to get into the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, Calgary is hoping to do the same in the West.
“There’s no point in standings watching right now,” Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. “For the teams that are able to do their job and continue in the playoff battle, it’s going to be a battle that goes right down to the bitter end.”
Despite Calgary’s poor performance against the Coyotes, coach Glen Gulutzan said he’s seeing signs that the Flames will return to the form that saw them win four of five games leading up to their break.
“It’s like turning on your garden hose in the spring,” Gulutzan said. “It’s going to fire out some air for a while and water and then air and then water and pretty soon it’s going to have water. That’s what I think about our group. I think we’re coming.
“That’s why we have these ups and down emotional games, but I think when we get on a roll, we’re going to be a team that’s hard to play.”
Left winger Kris Versteeg agreed with his coach that the Flames have what it takes to vie for a playoff spot down the stretch.
“I think if you ask teams around the league, we’re a team that works and we keep things pretty basic,” he said. “This time of the season as the league gets tighter, everyone gets going harder. It’s a tough time of the season, so it’s about playing the right way and finding ways to do that within the system.”