Blues-Flames Preview

The Calgary Flames are without their starting goaltender and the St. Louis Blues are unsure about the status of theirs.

Both teams also excel on the power play heading into their first meeting of the season Friday night in Calgary.

The Flames (4-4-3) remain without Miikka Kiprusoff, who may not return until after this month due to a sprained knee ligament. Leland Irving has taken his place.

St. Louis (7-5-1) is unsure when Jaroslav Halak will return. Halak is listed as day to day after missing the last five games with a groin strain, and coach Ken Hitchcock gave rookie Jake Allen his first career start over a struggling Brian Elliott in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime victory at Detroit.

Neither team will want their goalies to see too much of their opponents' power plays Friday. These are the Western Conference's best teams with the man advantage, with St. Louis a league-leading 34.7 percent and Calgary at 27.5.

Both have also had trouble on the penalty kill, with the Blues at 77.6 percent and the Flames at 72.5. Calgary hasn't left that unit exposed much, averaging a league-low nine penalty minutes.

The Blues will be tasked with trying to slow down Mike Cammalleri, who has recorded seven of his season's nine points in his last two games. Cammalleri had a hat trick in his return Wednesday after missing three games with a hip injury as Calgary posted its highest scoring game of the season in a 7-4 home victory over Dallas.

"As a group you want to build on something like this," said Cammalleri, who scored his 200th goal and also added an assist. "We're capable of breaking games when we want to."

Alex Tanguay, Lee Stempniak and Jarome Iginla each had two assists and Irving made 30 saves for the Flames, who improved to 2-3-2 at home.

"We don't like the results so far at home," Cammalleri said. "It's important, it's important to play well in front of your home crowd and home fans."

St. Louis opened a three-game trip by ending a five-game losing streak when Alex Steen scored in overtime against the Red Wings.

Allen made 15 saves in his second career appearance, and Hitchcock was pleased with the lack of opportunities his team gave up. The Blues allow a league-low 21.9 shots per game.

"I think we allow the fewest shots on goal in the National Hockey League by far, and that's the way we've got to play to win right now," Hitchcock told "We've got to limit the opposition until we get the ship righted here."

Chris Stewart had a goal and an assist and rookie Vladimir Tarasenko scored his sixth goal - tying him with Stewart and Patrik Berglund for the team lead - after going four straight games without a point.

"I think we got scared into the right direction," Steen said. "I think that fear made us play hockey.''

St. Louis outscored Calgary 11-6 in going 3-1-0 in the 2011-12 season series. The Blues went 2 for 10 on the power play while the Flames were 1 for 13.

These clubs meet twice more in this abbreviated season.

What to Read Next