SUN Hockey Pool

Game day

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:17 AM ET

CALGARY FLAMES AT MINNESOTA WILD

TONIGHT AT 6 P.M., TV: NONE, RADIO: FAN 960

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COMING IN:

The Flames dropped a 3-2 game against the New York Islanders Thursday, marking a three-game losing skid for the first time since the opening days of the season.

Minnesota hasn't played since dropping a 2-1 clash to Dallas on Monday and has lost two of three. That followed a run in which the Wild won eight of 11 to pull back within hailing distance of a playoff spot.

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HEAD-TO-HEAD:

This is the fourth of eight meetings this season between the Northwest Division rivals. Calgary has won the last three by a combined score of 10-4 but all were at the Saddledome. The other game was the season-opener in St. Paul, which Minnesota won 6-3.

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WHO'S HOT:

FLAMES -- D Dion Phaneuf has two goals and two assists in three games on this road swing.

WILD -- G Manny Fernandez, the defensive player of the week for the end of December, had a six-game winning streak snapped against Dallas.

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WHO'S NOT:

FLAMES -- D Jordan Leopold last scored an NHL goal March 7, 2004. Since then, he's failed to tally in 14 regular season games, the 26-game playoff run and the first 44 games this season.

WILD -- C Alexander Daigle has four goals in 38 games, a far cry from his 2004-05 season.

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SPECIAL TEAMS:

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 17.1% (45-263, 18th); Minnesota 18.1% (43-238, 11th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 81.6% (19th); Minnesota 89% (1st).

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INJURIES:

FLAMES -- D Roman Hamrlik (knee) didn't practise and said he won't play. He is day-to-day. D Bryan Marchment (knee), C Byron Ritchie (knee) are out.

WILD -- None. LW Pierre-Marc Bouchard is expected to return after missing two games due to a neck injury.

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NOTABLES:

Calgary's Jarome Iginla is the all-time leading scorer vs. the Wild with 24 points in 25 games ... There was no shortage of intensity among Wild practices during their little break this past week. During a four-on-four scrimmage, Wes Walz -- after taking an elbow to the head -- began to punch sniper Marian Gaborik. The two were quickly separated and both parties played down the fracas. "He knows I love him," Walz told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.


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