The Calgary Flames remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race due in large part to their recent road success.
Calgary looks to earn at least a point on the road for the ninth time in 10 games Tuesday night in the back end of a home-and-home set against the struggling St. Louis Blues.
The Flames (32-23-9) have notched a point in 22 of their last 25 games after beating the Blues 1-0 on Sunday. Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) made 27 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, and David Moss(notes) scored with 5:39 remaining.
“This time of year, you need to be prepared to win games whatever way,” coach Brent Sutter said. “Games are going to be tight and you’ve got to win those tight games. It’s playoff hockey, you’re not going to get 6-5, 7-6 hockey games. You look around the league at all the games that matter in the standings and they’re all one-goal and two-goal games and low scoring.”
Close games haven’t been as frequent for Calgary, which has scored three or more goals seven times during its current 6-1-2 road stretch. The Flames have outscored opponents 22-9 while going 4-1-1 in their last six overall, including a 9-1 win Feb. 14 at Colorado.
Kiprusoff has been a huge part of the team’s resurgence, going 11-2-3 with a 1.91 goals-against average and two shutouts since Jan. 22. He’s 16-2-2 with a 1.83 GAA as a member of the Flames against St. Louis, including Sunday’s win and a 4-1 victory Jan. 26.
Moss had two goals and an assist in the January meeting.
“He certainly stole one for us (Sunday),” Moss said of Kiprusoff. “They were shooting everything and they were coming pretty hard and he shut the door and made some huge saves when we needed them.”
It was the fourth loss in five games for the Blues (28-25-9), in danger of falling out of playoff contention.
“These points are so big, especially for (the Flames) who are barely in and have played a few more games than the other teams and for us who are clawing for our lives,” Backes said.
St. Louis capped a busy two weeks Monday by trading forward Brad Winchester(notes) to Anaheim for a 2012 third-round pick. The Blues also dealt winger Brad Boyes(notes) to Buffalo for a 2011 second-round pick after the game Sunday, which followed the Feb. 19 trade of former No. 1 overall pick Erik Johnson(notes) and Jay McClement(notes) to Colorado for Chris Stewart(notes) and Kevin Shattenkirk(notes).
Stewart had three two-goal performances in his first five games with St. Louis, but was held off the scoresheet Sunday.
Ben Bishop(notes) took the loss against the Flames, stopping 19 shots after a 39-save shutout victory Friday against Edmonton. The status of Jaroslav Halak(notes) is uncertain as he recovers from a bruised hand and regular backup Ty Conklin(notes) was placed on waivers, giving Bishop more time in net.
Conklin cleared waivers Monday and remains with St. Louis.
Calgary is 9-2-1 and has outscored the Blues 43-27 during the last 12 meetings in St. Louis.