Flames host Maple Leafs, seek better home results
CALGARY, Alberta -- Following their longest road trip of the season, the Calgary Flames start a three-game homestand Wednesday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Although they lost 2-1 in overtime to the New York Islanders on Monday, the Flames (10-13-2) finished their six-game road trip a respectable 3-2-1.
Those three wins are as many as the Flames have recorded at the Scotiabank Saddledome -- they have a league-worst 3-7 record on home ice -- which is something that Calgary captain Mark Giordano said has to improve.
"We've got to get some big wins at home," said Giordano, whose team also hosts the Minnesota Wild on Friday and the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. "We haven't been good enough at home."
The Flames get several chances to improve their home record over the coming weeks as they play six of their next eight and seven of their next 11 games in Calgary.
"We have to be positive coming back home here," said goaltender Brian Elliott, who made 25 saves to help the Flames salvage a point against the Islanders.
Sean Monahan also has some positives to build upon as he snapped out of a five-game goalless drought in New York by scoring his sixth goal of the season in the third period.
"It's nice to put one in there, but at the end of the day we're here for the two points and we got one out of it," Monahan said. "We're got to find a way to get the job done. Unfortunately we didn't, but we've got to bounce back here at home."
Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan was happy to see Monahan finally find the back of the net and he's hoping the 22-year-old center can build off of it.
"I think that'll be a little bit of a weight off his shoulders," Gulutzan said. "You know how goal scorers are. They can be streaky and I think that was a big goal for him."
While the Flames have to improve at home, the same can be said for what the Maple Leafs need to accomplish on the road.
After a 4-2 victory over the Oilers in Edmonton on Tuesday night, the Leafs (10-8-4) have a 2-5-4 road record.
"It probably wasn't our prettiest win, but we're very happy to kick this road trip off with two points," defenseman Morgan Rielly told reporters following the win, which snapped Toronto's three-game losing streak away from the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre, where they boast an impressive 8-3-0 mark.
Despite his squad's sub-.500 record on the road, Rielly was eagerly anticipating Toronto's trip out west to play the Oilers, Flames and Vancouver Canucks, who they'll face Saturday at Rogers Arena.
"I just really look forward to it," Rielly told the Toronto Star. "When the league releases our schedule, that's the first thing I look for -- when we go out west. It's home. I spent a fair bit of time on the Prairies."
Rielly hails from Vancouver and played three seasons for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League before turning pro in 2013.
"I like going on the road in general," Rielly said. "We have a chance to play some huge games on the road, try to get some points and improve our road record."