SUN Hockey Pool

Deep freeze

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Going into games with a playoff mentality, the Calgary Flames say they are prepared to win every matchup 1-0.

Sure would be easier to come away with victories if they manage more than a lone goal.

Craig Conroy is the only player to score the past two games. And while the Flames have come away with three points -- a 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets and a 2-1 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators -- everyone would feel a lot better heading into the final weeks with a little more support for Miikka Kiprusoff.

The netminder has had a couple of rough outings in Anaheim the past few weeks, but has posted a pair of shutouts and two more games where he allowed just one to get past him in his past eight outings. In five of those, he faced nearly 40 shots.

The Flames, meanwhile, aren't putting many pucks on opposing net.

Granted, they earned a 4-1-2 record, but in their past seven games, they have just 11 goals. Conroy has three of them. Iginla scored a pair The other goals have come from defencemen Rhett Warrener, Robyn Regehr and Dion Phaneuf, with forwards Alex Tanguay, Daymond Langkow and Dustin Boyd rounding out the contributions.

"It's been tough right now," said Conroy, who seems to be the only guy not finding it difficult.

The Flames have shown they can score in bunches, and have potted four or more 17 times this season. Fifteen of those were wins. They earned a single point in the other two games.

"Now they're hard to come by," admitted Conroy. "We've got the guys capable of doing it."

Kristian Huselius and Matthew Lombardi are both mired in frustrating scoring slumps.

Huselius joined the 20-goal club Jan. 5, but has scored just once in the past 25 games.

Lombardi enjoyed his first 20-goal campaign a year ago, but will fall well short this season. He has just 10 goals and hasn't scored since Jan. 18 -- his lone tally of the month and had just two goals in December.

Recently, he's been coming close. A couple of posts are probably still ringing in his ears, and in Friday's loss to the Predators, he was inches away from giving the Flames an early lead.

Streaking in on a short-handed break, using his speed to push past a pair of defenders to the loose puck, Lombardi made a perfect move on goaltender Dan Ellis and just had to nudge the puck into the yawning cage to complete the highlight-reel play.

"Next thing you know, it's in the corner," Conroy said of the unlucky finish.

"It's almost comical. He does that a thousand times in practice and he scores 99 percent of them. I know it's going to come."

Always one to look on the bright side, Conroy can look at his own recent production as an example of a turnaround.

"I know what it's like when you don't score goals. You start pressing, and then it gets longer and longer, and harder and harder," he said. "It's just a matter of time.

"It'll be a good time for everybody if you get those two guys (Huselius and Lombardi) scoring, too."

Add Langkow, Owen Nolan and guys like Wayne Primeau and Stephane Yelle to that list.

Primeau had a couple of opportunities Friday, but came away empty.

Yelle has gone 18 games without scoring. Langkow -- one of only three Flames with 20 goals this season -- has one goal in his last nine games. Nolan is in a 10-game funk.

With every team in playoff mode fighting for a post-season berth, they're all trying to win 1-0 games.

So the Flames can make it easier on themselves if they pot at least two or three.

"Hopefully, they start coming in bunches," said Conroy.

The more, the merrier.


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