It’s no surprise that the Calgary Flames are having trouble scoring with superstar Jarome Iginla(notes) mired in his worst drought in well over a decade. They’re not going to a place where goals or wins have come easily for them in recent years.
Iginla looks to end his six-game stretch without a point Sunday night when the Flames seek to earn their first road win in 11 tries against the Anaheim Ducks, winners of six straight at home.
The star winger is enduring a frustrating slump that has contributed to Calgary (26-16-6) scoring nine goals during a 1-4-1 slide. Iginla’s pointless stretch is his longest since a six-game run Nov. 10-22, 1997.
The last time he failed to record a point in seven straight games was in his rookie season March 4-16, 1997.
“It’s no secret we need to score goals,” Iginla said. “It’s obviously a tough drought, but you’ve got to stay positive. Keep believing it’s going to go the next shift, the next game and it will.”
The Flames are 0-8-2 in Anaheim (21-20-7) since a 5-1 victory on Jan. 19, 2004, scoring two goals or fewer in their last six visits. The Ducks won 3-2 at home in a shootout Nov. 23 in the teams’ lone meeting this season.
Iginla scored the tying goal in the third period in that loss to end his six-game drought without one against Anaheim. He hasn’t experienced a victory in 19 games at the Honda Center since he scored the winner in the third period of a 2-1 victory Jan. 13, 1999. Calgary is 0-12-4 with three ties at Anaheim with Iginla since that game.
Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) has played well during the tailspin for Calgary, going 1-3-1 with a 2.33 goals-against average in his last five starts. He made 20 saves in Friday’s 1-0 home loss to Nashville.
Kiprusoff has faced more than 27 shots just once in that span. Calgary is happy with its defense and doesn’t want to change into what coach Brent Sutter calls a “high-risk team.”
“Is it difficult I guess depends on how strong mentally you are,” said Sutter about the goal drought. “We gotta stay with it. Like I said this the other day, we’re not all of a sudden going to change the type of team we are.”
Anaheim is on its longest home win streak since a 10-game run Feb. 17-March 26, 2008. It fell for the first time in six games overall with a 4-0 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday in a contest that featured a number of fights late in the game triggered by the frustrated Ducks.
“To me, the emotion that we displayed at the end of the game, and the fire and the heart and whatnot that we were upset, should have been displayed at the beginning of the game, not in the last 10 minutes of the game,” coach Randy Carlyle said.
Ducks center Saku Koivu(notes) will be out after he was hurt Thursday when he got tangled up with a Kings player on a faceoff. The veteran forward underwent an MRI exam Friday that revealed a sprained right knee that is expected to sideline him one to two weeks.