SUN Hockey Pool

Fortunes turned quickly for free-falling Flames

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

For the Calgary Flames, things are getting a little too tight for comfort.

A week ago, they looked free and clear and were gearing up for the playoffs.

Now, they're a short losing skid away from missing the post-season entirely.

"It's pretty amazing when you go 79 games and it comes down to these last three," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said yesterday.

"We've had good stretches, tough stretches and every team is pretty much in the same boat.

" It's all about these last three games."

Heading into tonight's contest against the Oilers at Rexall Place, the Flames are seventh in the Western Conference standings, two points up on the Vancouver Canucks, three ahead of the Nashville Predators and four clear of their provincial rivals.

But the Flames have lost two straight and three of their last four, and are suddenly looking over their shoulders.

After tonight they travel to Minnesota to face the Wild, then wrap up the regular season in Vancouver.

"Fundamentally, we have to get back to playing more structured, systematic hockey," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan.

"We've only won one of our last six games on the road. We've given up leads, which is part of the dilemma we're facing today.

"When you have leads on the road, it's something you work for and should take advantage of."

In the 6-2 loss to Vancouver on Sunday, the Flames gave up the lead on two occasions before the game got away from them in the second period.

In their 2-1 loss against the Oilers on Saturday, they gave up two third-period goals after taking the lead just under six minutes into the frame.

"We need to reload after a tough weekend where we didn't come away with any points," Iginla said.

"We just have to go out and play our best for one game, not look past it.

"All we have to worry about is the next game and playing our best.

"We're capable of it. We've done it in the past."


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