Calgary (37-28-11) at Edmonton (23-41-10)

By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN, STATS Senior Writer Friday, Mar 25, 2011 Puck Drop: 10:00 pm EDT Sat Mar 26, 2011

A frustrating stretch has left the playoff hopes of the Calgary Flames close to being extinguished.

The Flames complete a four-game trip Saturday night when they try to hand the punchless Edmonton Oilers a ninth straight loss.

Calgary (37-28-11) is 0-1-2 on this trip and 1-4-2 in its last seven games to hamper its postseason chances. The Flames are in 10th place in the Western Conference, two points behind eighth-place Anaheim and one behind ninth-place Dallas.

The Ducks, however, have eight games left and the Stars nine. The Flames have six to go.

“There’s still 12 points out there,” coach Brent Sutter said. “Ninety-seven points can still get you in the playoffs. But we gotta get one win.”

Four of the remaining games are against teams that are out of contention, including two against Edmonton (23-41-10). The Oilers won the first Battle of Alberta 4-0 in the season opener for both teams before the Flames took the next three matchups.

The teams also meet April 6 in Calgary.

“Four of the six games are against non-playoff teams and we do have some days in between so we can be ready and rested,” defenseman Robyn Regehr(notes) said. “But looking at the big picture, we can’t get ahead of ourselves, though, either. We’ve got to get ready for Edmonton on Saturday night and we’re going to have to play much better than we have.”

Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) is 0-1-1 with a 4.60 goals-against average on this road trip. He’s 8-1-0 with a 2.41 GAA in his last nine starts against the Oilers.

Calgary star Jarome Iginla(notes) has failed to register a point in his last six games in his hometown of Edmonton, but he’s got four goals in his last four games overall while Rene Bourque(notes) has three in the same span.

Calgary fell 6-3 at San Jose on Wednesday, allowing four goals in the first period in a performance that prompted Sutter to say, “We can’t play that way for the rest of the season.”

The league-worst Oilers are mired in a 0-6-2 slide in which they have totaled seven goals. They were outshot 30-12 in a 4-0 loss at St. Louis on Thursday.

The shot total matched a season low and the Oilers didn’t register one in the third period until the final 68 seconds.

Edmonton remains without numerous injured players, with defenseman Ryan Whitney(notes) (ankle) and forwards Taylor Hall(notes) (ankle), Ales Hemsky(notes) (shoulder), Gilbert Brule(notes) (concussion), Sam Gagner(notes) (hand), and Shawn Horcoff(notes) (ankle) all out.

“It’s frustrating, obviously,” winger Jordan Eberle(notes) said. “We’ve got some guys out that help us with offense but collectively as a group, we should be able to put the puck in the net. I think it comes down to getting the puck to the net first off and getting second opportunities.”

The Oilers are converting 13.0 percent of their power plays for the season - the worst mark in the NHL - and are 3 for 36 during this winless stretch. They have fared better against the Flames, going 3 for 14.

Calgary’s penalty-kill unit has yielded six goals in its last 17 chances.

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Saturday, Mar 26