CALGARY FLAMES AT NEW YORK ISLANDERS
TONIGHT AT 5 P.M., TV: SPORTSNET, RADIO: FAN 960
On the heels of an overtime defeat in Vancouver, the Flames gassed a 2-0 lead and dropped a 4-2 clash with the Rangers Tuesday. It's only the third time since late October they've lost two in a row. Despite all the grinding of teeth, they're 6-2-1 in their last nine. Amidst talk head coach Steve Stirling is about to be fired, the Islanders lost 2-1 in Nashville Tuesday night. In the hunt for the playoffs through mid-December, the Isles have dropped three in a row and eight of nine, with that victory coming in overtime against Florida.
Over the last decade, the Islanders have been good tonic for the Flames. In their last 14 meetings, Calgary has collected a dozen wins. The Flames have also won six straight at Nassau Coliseum, including a 3-2 win in January 2004.
* FLAMES -- D Dion Phaneuf has scored in two straight games and tallied three goals and three assists in seven contests.
* ISLANDERS -- Using the word hot might be a stretch but C Shawn Bates has one goal and two assists in the last four games.
* FLAMES -- After a torrid first 13 games, LW Kristian Huselius has now failed to register a point in three games.
* ISLANDERS -- Where to start? LW Mike York has gone nine games without a goal, RW Arron Asham hasn't scored in 10 games, D Alexei Zhitnik has no points in 12 games and everybody's favourite whipping boy, Alexei Yashin, has only one goal in seven tilts.
POWERPLAY -- Calgary 17% (44-258, 18th); Islanders 17.4% (44-253, 17th).
PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 81.6% (18th); Islanders 80.6% (22nd).
* FLAMES -- D Bryan Marchment (knee) and C Byron Ritchie (knee) are out.
* ISLANDERS -- C Jason Blake (ribs), G Rick DiPietro (knee) and D Brad Lukowich (ribs) are all day-to-day. C Petteri Nokelainen (leg) and G Garth Snow (knees) are both out.
On Thursday, the Islanders dealt D Janne Niinimaa to Dallas for D John Erskine and summoned D Bruno Gervais from the minors ... Yesterday G Rick DiPietro partook in his first full practice since injuring his knee Dec. 30 but is still questionable ... RW Miro Satan didn't skate after taking a hard hit against the Predators but Islanders coach Steve Stirling believes Satan will play ... Daymond Langkow has quietly crept within three points of Jarome Iginla for top spot on the Flames scoring list. Iginla has 17 goals and 33 points, while Langkow has 13 goals and 30 points ... Calgary's road powerplay has climbed into the top 10, sporting an 18.2% success rate (25-137). However, the road penalty killing is 28th at 77.3%.