The Calgary Flames own one of the best home records in the NHL, and hope a return there will help them rebound from two weeks of poor play.
The Flames look to improve upon their 18-5-3 mark at the Pengrowth Saddledome when they open a stretch of seven straight home games, including two before the Olympic break, with a matchup against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Calgary has lost five of seven since a four-game winning streak from Jan. 14-23, but snapped a three-game skid with a 4-3 victory over San Jose on Monday. The Flames’ four goals matched their output from the previous three games combined.
“It’s been tough for us the last couple of games, but we stayed together in the third period when it could have been trouble again,” Kiprusoff said. “It was good to see us step up in the last minutes.”
The Flames led 4-1 early in the third period before giving up two goals in a 1:31 span, but coach Darryl Sutter said Kiprusoff was the difference.
“Kipper is always one of the main reasons why we win hockey games,” said Sutter, whose team is tied for the Northwest Division lead despite its recent rough stretch.
Newly acquired Mike Leclerc has not scored in his first two games with Calgary, and will look to get his first goal with the Flames against Anaheim, his former team. Leclerc, who spent the first part of the season with Phoenix before being traded with Brian Boucher to the Flames for Steve Reinprecht and Philippe Sauve last Wednesday, has four goals in five games against the Ducks this season.
The 29-year-old left wing played in 291 games with the Ducks from 1996-04, recording 54 goals and 78 assists.
While the Flames snapped a losing streak, Anaheim extended its point streak on the road to seven games Monday. The Ducks outshot Edmonton 40-30, but lost 6-5 in a shootout.
“I thought we deserved a better fate, but we didn’t get it,” said Mighty Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, whose team is 4-0-3 in its last seven away from home. “There is no use worrying about it. We can’t change it.”
Niedermayer, third on the team with 42 points, is playing with a knee injury that might keep him off the Canadian roster at the Turin Olympics.
Teemu Selanne failed to score in the loss, snapping his 14-game point streak with eight goals and 13 assists.