It's hard to believe but this will be the first meeting between the Flames and the Wild this season. But it is indeed the first of six meetings between the two Northwest Division teams.
The Wild have lost five straight heading into the game and could be a burly bunch when they face the Flames. They have been struggling to score lately.
During the losing streak they have been outscored 13-5 and scored a goal or less in four of those games. They may get a boost by the return of the speedy and crafty Marian Gaborik who has been out with groin issues since the second game of the season. He was skating this week and the indications are that he will be in the line-up tonight
Calgary owned the Wild last season, compiling a 6-2-0 record against the tight-checking Jacques Lemaire crew. The teams were relatively even in the scoring department with the Flames putting 21 in the Wild nets and the Wild returning the favour with 20 goals against the Flames.
Jarome Iginla paced the Flames with six goals and five assists against the Wild while Marian Gaborik had four goals and nine assists in seven games against the Flames last season. The Flames captain is one point shy of 800 after collecting four points in a 6-3 win Tuesday in St. Louis.
The Flames, following Tuesday's win, are now tied with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division. They will need to break with an early season trend tonight if they want to keep pace in the division. This is the fifth back-to-back game of the season for the Flames and they have not won the second leg yet (0-3-1).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Jarome Iginla was a road warrior in St. Louis last night and has had a lot of success against the Wild. He scored twice against the Blues, one a fluke that went off his elbow as he got up in the crease, the other a patent Iginla snapper from the face-off circle. He also notched two assists to spark his team to a win and out of a three-game losing streak.
For the Wild...
Most probably would have said you were nuts if you picked Miikko Koivu to lead the Wild in scoring this season but, in the absence of Marian Gaborik, it is indeed Koivu leading the way. He is a hard-worker who usually earns every goal he gets. Problem is he isn't an elite player in the NHL and can't carry the entire team.
The Flames snapped a three-game losing streak with a big win in St. Louis on Tuesday. Flames captain Jarome Iginla paced the Flames with four points in a 5-2 win...F Curtis Glencross missed the game in St. Louis with a lower body injury. F Jamie Lundmark, who has been racking up points in Quad City with the Flames top farm club, played in Glencross's spot against the Blues...The Flames are now 3-0-0 in games where Iginla has a multiple-goal game...The Flames have allowed just three power play goals since Nov. 13, all of them against St. Louis although in separate games...Adam Pardy and Cory Sarich were a steady defensive pairing against the Blues. They were both plus four in the game. Sarich also had two fights...
LUNDMARK FAIRS WELL
Flames forward Jamie Lundmark plaed his first NHL game of the season Tuesday against St. Louis after being recalled from Quad City . Monday. He played on the second line with Daymond Langkow and Todd Bertuzzi all game, collecting an assist on Langkow's goal in the third period. "I took a couple of shifts an then settled in. It took some time to get used to the speed again. Lanks and Bert made it easy. They are veteran players with sill so it makes it easy."
It's a big challenge for me. I have to keep it simple, get pucks to the net and work hard- Jamie Lundmark
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100
Daymond Langkow needs one game for 900 Jarome Iginla needs one point for 800 Miikka Kiprusoff needs seven wins to take over second place on the Flames all-time wins list Jarome Iginla needs 9 games for 900 Jarome Iginla needs 10 goals for 400
Adrian Aucoin played in his 800th career game Dec. 12 vs. Florida
D Adam Pardy had his first NHL point Dec. 12. vs. Florida
Mike Keenan coached in his 1500th game on Dec. 10 vs. Detroit Curtis Glencross played in his 100th career game on Dec. 10 vs. Detroit
The Flames will be without the services of D Rhett Warrener (shoulder); D James Vandermeer (leg); F Brandon Prust (fractured jaw) F Wayne Primeau (foot) and F Curtis Glencross (lower body). There are no indications that the team would change the line-up from a night ago in St. Louis