Edmonton (16-20-4) at Calgary (22-12-5)

Clear Currently: Calgary, AB
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Thu Dec 31, 2009
  • TV: RSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Less than a week ago, the Calgary Flames were enduring perhaps their worst stretch of the season. Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) and Rene Bourque(notes) have changed that.

The Flames look to continue their dominance of the last-place Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night when the provincial rivals face off at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Calgary (22-12-5) had won only once in seven games before Bourque recorded his second career hat trick and Kiprusoff made 34 saves in a 4-1 win at Edmonton (16-20-4) on Monday. That came a night after Kiprusoff was pulled for allowing four goals in the opening period of a 5-1 loss to Vancouver.

Kiprusoff and Bourque came up big for the Flames again in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Los Angeles.

The 2006 Vezina Trophy winner made 23 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Dustin Brown(notes) in the second period. Bourque scored in the opening period and set up Craig Conroy’s(notes) first goal of the season early in the second to close out the scoring.

“Just to get one and get rolling, especially before the new year, was nice to do. Especially against my old team,” the 38-year-old Conroy told the Flames’ official Web site.

Now, the Flames will be looking for their first three-game winning streak since ending November with four wins a row. Lining up against their most bitter rival should provide added incentive toward that goal.

Calgary has won seven of the last eight meetings with Edmonton, including all four this season. The Flames took the last matchup at home 5-2 on Oct. 24, extending their series winning streak there to three.

Kiprusoff has been a big reason for the Flames’ success against the Oilers in 2009-10, posting a 2.21 GAA while winning all four matchups. He’s also been outstanding against the Northwest Division rivals at home, going 11-4-1 with a tie and a 1.99 GAA and a shutout in 17 meetings.

Bourque grew up about 130 miles northeast of Edmonton, and has five goals and five assists in four games against the Oilers.

Edmonton is last in the Western Conference, but hopes to carry some momentum from Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Toronto that ended a season-high seven-game losing streak.

“It’s tough coming to the rink every day when you’re losing games,” said left wing Patrick O’Sullivan(notes), who scored twice to end an 11-game goal drought. “(Wednesday) was a full 60 minute effort and we got the result we wanted. Now, we can think about the things that we did well.

“We’re in a difficult spot right now, it’s desperation time, really, for our team.”

The Oilers, though, could use some increased production from Dustin Penner(notes), the team leader with 19 goals and 38 points.

Penner hasn’t managed a point in four games, and has just two over the last eight. That slump followed a three-game stretch that saw him tally three goals with three assists.

Penner has two goals and one assist in 10 games at Calgary with one goal coming in the last meeting there.

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Thursday, Dec 31