Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Stars
DESPERATION HITTING A PEAK
There is no doubt the Flames will have their hands full with a very desperate Dallas club tonight. The Stars have lost four straight games, being outscored 16-3 in the process, and have fallen back to 13th in the Western Conference with 27 points in 27 games. Their last loss? An 8-1 thumping on home ice courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks.
"They're going to be hungry," Tim Jackman told CalgaryFlames.com. "We've got to ready at the drop of the puck. We've got to ready to compete, play a hard road game. We have to play physical, we have to get pucks in deep and we need a lot of shots."
The Flames are looking to replicate their efforts on home ice over the last month and get back into a groove on the road. Calgary has won six straight at the Scotibank Saddledome but have struggled to find wins in other barns lately. They are 0-5-1 in their last six road games and with their last road victory coming on Feb. 17 in Dallas.
"I believe we've found our identity at home and the way we want to play," Jackman said. "We just have to bring that on the road."
THE MAC ATTACK
The Flames will be without starter Miikka Kiprusoff tonight as his wife gave birth to couple's second son, Oskar, today so Joey MacDonald will take over in net. Danny Taylor, who was recalled yesterday - and didn't have to suffer through a heinous travel day due to the Heat being in San Antonio - will back up the 33 year-old.
Mikael Backlund hit the ice this morning in Dallas to test out how his out how his injury, a bone bruise associated with a crack in the bone in his right foot, was progressing and he was all smiles when he hit the locker room afterwards.
"I tried it and it felt good," he said. "I can't say (I feel) 100 per cent because it's there but it feels good. It can't get worse - the doctors said it can't get worse - so there's no point in sitting out."
Head coach Bob Hartley stated he would be a game-time decision tonight.
"He felt pretty good on the ice and we put him in certain game situations and he handled them well. We both agreed that he is going to do the warm-up and we'll see how he feels and go from there."
If Backlund is able to play, he comes into the game riding a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists). He has also has points in four of his last five games.
The 24 year-old has scored four goals and seven points in 12 games this season.
PREVIOUSLY IN DALLAS ...
The Flames have visited the American Airlines Center once this season and left triumphant after Steve Bégin scored the game winner in the third period. The team rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final frame to pick up their second victory over Dallas that week.
WHAT THE OPPOSITION ARE SAYING
"Jarome, the way he handles himself as a real competitor, a warrior on the ice but a real classy guy off of it." - Brendan Morrow on the Flames captain
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Jay Bouwmeester needs 2 points for 300.
Matt Stajan needs 2 assists for 200.
Cory Sarich needs 4 points for 150 and 4 games for 900.
Lee Stempniak needs 5 points for 300.
Dennis Wideman needs 5 assists for 200.
Jiri Hudler needs 8 goals for 100.
Jarome Iginla needs 8 points for 1100.