When Calgary last hosted the Ottawa Senators, it was able to pull out a win against an Eastern Conference power. Now, the Flames look to take advantage of a matchup with an NHL doormat.
The Flames look to hand the Senators their 11th straight road loss when the teams meet at Pengrowth Saddledome on Saturday night.
Calgary (19-11-4), contending with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division, has an excellent chance to pick up at least a point.
The Senators (12-15-5), last in the Northeast Division, are 0-8-2 on the road since a 2-1 win at Florida on Oct. 30. It’s Ottawa’s longest such skid since dropping 38 in a row en route to finishing 1-40-0 on the road in their inaugural 1992-93 season.
This will be the first meeting between the teams since Oct. 12, 2006, when Calgary won 1-0 at Ottawa. The last matchup at Calgary was on Dec. 10, 2005, and the Flames won 2-1 against a Senators team that went on to take the East’s top seed entering the playoffs.
Calgary was one of the West’s top teams that season, and it appears headed for another strong finish. The Flames have earned at least one point in six straight games (3-0-3) and are 10-4-3 at home.
Calgary scored three goals in the third period to beat Anaheim 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Brett Sutter, the son of Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter, scored his first goal at 3:59 of the third period.
“Words can’t really describe it, it just feels good,” the 21-year-old Sutter said about his first NHL game.
He was recalled from Quad Cities of the AHL on Monday, becoming the eighth member of his family to make it to the NHL. Sutter had one goal and six assists in 28 games for Quad Cities.
Mark Giordano and Mike Cammalleri followed Sutter’s goal to give the Flames a two-goal lead with less than 6 minutes left. Calgary went 2-for-28 (7.1 percent) on the power play in its previous seven games, but got a timely goal from Giordano with the man advantage versus the Ducks.
Ottawa has converted only 6.1 percent (2-for-33) of its power-play chances during its last nine games away from Scotiabank Place. This will be the second stop on a season-high eight-game road trip for the Senators, who lost the opener 6-4 to Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
“I think the guys have to get away from the game for two days,” Ottawa coach Craig Hartsburg said following that defeat. “We have to show more desperation. We’re in a desperate state here. We have to get points.”
The Senators have an NHL-low three road wins, and their eight points on the road are the fewest in the East. Ottawa needs to figure things out in a hurry if it hopes to bounce back from its poor start.
“Right now, we have to be so focused every night,” Hartsburg said. “We have to go through this stretch of games being ready every night to play. We’ve got to get points. That’s the big thing through this stretch of games. We have to find a way to get points.”