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30-25-12

Canadiens-Flames Preview

AP - Sports

The Calgary Flames continue to take early leads, but holding on to them has been a problem.

The Eastern Conference-worst Montreal Canadiens might not cause many problems for the Flames the way they've been struggling to score.

Calgary looks to extend its point streak in this series to seven on Tuesday night when it tries to end its longest home losing streak in two years.

While the Flames (29-25-12) have scored first in each of their last eight games, they've won only two and lost three games via shootout in that span.

Calgary - 1-5 in overtime games - fell to 3-7 in tiebreakers with Sunday's 3-2 home loss to Dallas.

"It hasn't been easy losing those shootout games,'' captain Jarome Iginla said after reaching the 25-goal plateau for the 13th consecutive season. "I honestly do feel they can go either way. We need to keep going, moving forward and work on getting the next game.''

The Flames are three points behind San Jose for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they also trail Los Angeles and Colorado by one point.

Calgary will try to continue its push up the standings by snapping a five-game losing streak at the Scotiabank Saddledome that includes three shootouts. It's the club's longest skid at home since an 0-5-1 slide from Jan. 8-25, 2010.

The Flames, though, have won five in a row against the visiting Canadiens, most recently a 4-0 victory Feb. 20, 2011, in the Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium.

Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 39 saves in that contest, improved to 5-0-0 with a 1.84 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last six starts against Montreal (25-31-12) by turning aside 35 shots in a 4-1 road victory Oct. 13.

The Canadiens have been outscored 23-11 while losing five of six in this series, but at least they won't have to face Rene Bourque, who had two-goal games in each of the last two matchups.

Bourque was acquired from Calgary on Jan. 12 in a four-player deal that sent Michael Cammalleri to the Flames. Cammalleri has six goals and 11 points in 21 games since the deal, while the addition of Bourque has done little to improve the Canadiens' scoring woes. He has four goals in 22 games.

Montreal, 2-7-1 in its last 10 games, has been held to one or no goals in five of its last seven games.

"We didn't do a good enough job of getting enough pucks to their net and getting enough guys in front of their goalie," defenseman Josh Gorges told the Canadiens' website after the club was outshot 42-22 in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Toronto. "That's the way we have to score and that's what we have to be better at."

Montreal is 1 for 12 on the power play and has four goals while dropping three consecutive road games.

Carey Price, who made 39 saves Saturday, is expected to be in net for a fourth straight game in the opener of the Canadiens' four-game trip. He yielded four goals in each of the last two contests between these clubs.

Flames left wing Curtis Glencross has a four-game goal-scoring streak, one shy of his career high established Feb. 7-14, 2011. Three of those goals have given Calgary a 1-0 lead.

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