Thrashers-Flames Preview

BY foxsports • December 13, 2009

After a successful start to their road trip, the Calgary Flames struggled offensively and returned home in a bit of a slump. Facing the Atlanta Thrashers could help them get back on track.

The Flames play their first game in Calgary in two weeks Wednesday night when they face a Thrashers team that has never won at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Calgary (18-8-3) opened a season-high, six-game trip with three consecutive victories from Nov. 27-30. The Flames scored 12 goals in those wins, but in dropping two of the last three on the trip, they were held to four goals combined.

Calgary played on the road for the eighth time in nine games Monday night, concluding its trip with a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles.

"We're definitely disappointed that we couldn't win tonight and end it on the right note, but it was a good trip," captain Jarome Iginla said. "We had some tough buildings and every team's competitive. The last game before you go home, sometimes you're not focused and not there, but I thought it was there tonight."

The Flames have struggled on the power play over the past two weeks, going 3 for 24 - 0 for 12 in their last three.

"We needed our power play to win the game for us, and our penalty killing got scored on for the winning goal," coach Brent Sutter said Monday. "It's a tough loss. If we did a couple of things better, we could have won the game. We seemed to be hesitant of getting shots to the net and getting traffic in front."

The Flames now get to host Atlanta (15-9-3), which has been outscored 18-7 in losing all four of its visits to Calgary since joining the NHL for the 1999-2000 season.

Calgary may also be to able to end its scoring slump, as the Thrashers have allowed 13 goals in going 2-2-0 over their last four games.

Atlanta opened a four-game trip with a 2-1 shootout win over Florida on Saturday and fell 5-2 to last-place Toronto on Monday night. The Thrashers entered the game against the Maple Leafs with an away record of 9-2-1.

They trailed 5-0 after two periods before Bryan Little and Marty Reasoner scored in a 35-second span in the third. Nik Antropov, who leads the team with 21 assists, was held without a point for a season-high third straight contest.

"It was the worst game I've played since coming to Atlanta," said Antropov, who signed over the summer. "By the time I woke up, it was too late."

Antropov has played well in his career against the Flames, registering six goals and five assists in 11 games. He's scored a goal in his last four meetings with Calgary.

This game features two of the top goal-scorers in the NHL. Iginla has found the back of the net 17 times, and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk has 16 goals in 21 games.

Iginla has five goals and seven assists in the four home wins against Atlanta while Kovalchuk has two goals in two visits to Calgary.

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