The Calgary Flames have done a nice job of following losses with victories. Stringing wins together hasn’t been quite as easy.
After opening a five-game homestand on a positive note, they’ve got a chance to change that Saturday night against an Ottawa Senators team that’s dropped six of seven in Calgary.
Thursday’s 5-3 win over Arizona improved the Flames to 7-0-1 following a loss and gave them an opportunity to begin a winning streak for the third time this season. It also gave them 10 wins in 18 games after last season’s club did it in 27.
"Hearing that, that’s something we can build off of and keep continuing to progress and hopefully get better and improve on it," defenseman Kris Russell told the team’s official website.
Victories lately have come with plenty of scoring as Calgary (10-6-2) has managed four goals or more in each of its last seven wins. Its scoring is up to 3.00 goals per game after finishing 23rd last season at 2.46.
Paul Byron got in on the action with a pair against the Coyotes, while Mark Giordano scored to give him 13 points on an eight-game streak. David Jones had a goal and an assist and has scored in three straight, and Sean Monahan continued to make up for a slow start with his seventh goal and 10th point in 10 games to again help the team dodge consecutive losses.
"It’s been a focus of ours," Giordano said. "The good teams don’t lose two, three, four games in a row. They cut the losing streaks off right away. I thought we had a tough game (Monday) in Carolina, but the bounce back was good. The guys were moving tonight. I thought we created a lot."
That was also the case last season against Ottawa as the teams split the two-game series with the home team winning each by a three-goal margin. Senators center Kyle Turris had three goals and an assist, while Byron scored in each.
The Senators (8-4-4) are completing a three-game trip against their Western Conference Canadian foes. Thursday’s 4-3 win over Edmonton required Mike Hoffman’s overtime winner after blowing a 3-0 lead.
"At the end of the day, we found a way to win a game on the road," said coach Paul MacLean, whose team was in an 0-1-2 rut. "It was a great effort by the team. You don’t make up ground or get ahead in this league by getting one point."
Hoffman also scored in regulation and has six goals in five games after managing one through his first eight. A season after scoring three goals in 25 games, he’s tied with Clarke MacArthur for the team lead with seven.
In goal, Craig Anderson has been busy for Ottawa and will face the Flames. He made 34 saves against the Oilers, has faced 36.0 shots per game and responded with a league-best .942 save percentage.
This month, he’s 3-0-2 with a 1.73 goals-against average.
He’ll be opposed by Karri Ramo, whose season hasn’t been as impressive. Ramo’s only start this month resulted in four goals on 22 shots and an early departure as he saw his GAA jump to 2.85 to go along with a 2-2-1 record.
Ramo is 0-3-1 with a 4.11 GAA in six games against Ottawa.