Their next goal is figuring out a way to win in southern Alberta - and on the road in general.
Edmonton has lost its last five visits to Calgary and has won just twice in its last 25 road games overall, ugly trends it will look to end Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames (1-2-0) haven’t had a losing record against the Oilers (2-1-0) since 2000-01, but Edmonton got off to a good start in its attempt to win the season series Oct. 7. Four different Oilers scored and Nikolai Khabibulin(notes) made 37 saves in a 4-0 victory that snapped Edmonton’s seven-game slide against Calgary.
The Oilers followed that with a 3-2 win over Florida on Sunday, but their first trip away from Rexall Place saw their road woes from last season continue. Edmonton ended 2009-10 without a regulation victory in its last 24 road games, and nothing changed in a 4-2 loss Thursday at Minnesota.
Edmonton fell to 2-21-2 on the road since Dec. 11, with two shootout victories at Los Angeles in that stretch.
Confidence hasn’t come easily for Edmonton in Calgary, where it has been outscored 23-9 in its last five visits. All four of the Wild’s goals on Thursday came on the power play, an issue that has also plagued the Oilers recently at the Saddledome. The Flames are 7 for 15 (46.7 percent) during their five-game home winning streak in the series.
Calgary can only hope that success continues. The Flames are 1 for 13 (7.7 percent) with the man advantage this season, and became the NHL’s first team to be shut out twice with a 3-0 loss to visiting Florida on Thursday.
“After the first five minutes of the first period and until the end of the second, our compete level wasn’t there,” forward Alex Tanguay(notes) said. “We were second to the puck, they seemed to be winning every battle. When you don’t play with the puck, it’s tough to win.”
“We’re a better team then what we’ve shown in two out of three games,” Tanguay said. “In order for us to be in the playoffs, we’ll have to show some consistency.”
Iginla’s drought stretches back farther than the opener versus Edmonton. The five-time All-Star and Flames captain has gone nine games without a point dating back to last season, and he’s played 14 straight games without a goal.
Iginla had two goals and two assists in his last home game against the Oilers, but has only one assist in his other eight games in the series since April 10, 2009.
Khabibulin is 15-4-0 with a 2.20 goals-against average all-time in Calgary, though he lost his only start there since joining Edmonton.