The Calgary Flames have no room for error in their final two games of the regular season.
Trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Flames look for an eighth consecutive home victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
Calgary (40-29-11) faces a must-win scenario versus Edmonton and again at home Saturday against Western Conference regular season champ Vancouver. Tied for ninth with Dallas in the West, the Flames are two points behind seventh-place Anaheim and eighth-place Chicago.
Making the challenge of reaching the playoff even greater for Calgary, the Stars, Ducks and Blackhawks each have three games remaining.
Despite their situation, the Flames have faith they can return to playoffs after missing out last season.
“We’re within reach again,” Flames coach Brent Sutter said. “I know the games in hand are still there, but you can’t worry about that. We tightened the gap. We’re right there again, and let’s see what happens.”
Calgary’s playoff hopes remain alive thanks to consecutive one-goal victories during a two-game trip to St. Louis and Colorado. Tanguay had a goal with an assist and Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) made 34 saves in a 2-1 win over the Avalanche on Sunday.
Tanguay has not given up, recording two goals and five assists the last three games. He has two with three assists versus Edmonton this season.
Kiprusoff has a 2.77 goals-against average during a five-game home winning streak against the Oilers.
Though the Oilers (25-43-11) have lost four straight and 13 of 15 to the Flames, they’ll try to win three in a row overall after posting consecutive wins over the Canucks to snap an 11-game winless stretch.
“We’ve done a good job the last two games,” said Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk(notes), who has stopped 66 of 67 shots the last two games. “The odds were stacked pretty highly against us. I don’t think anybody really gave us a chance. It would have been easy to sit back and just believe that. It’s exciting that we said no way and went out there and did it.”
Last in the league with 61 points, Edmonton topped the franchise-worst 60 it had in 1992-93.
“We want to grow up in front of our fans’ eyes,” Oilers coach Tom Renney said. “We want to give them a reason to believe in us. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Paajarvi has scored two of his 14 goals during his rookie season in the last two contests. He has three and two assists his last three versus Calgary.