A comeback 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday at the 'Dome has the Flames on a long roll with points (3-0-3) in the last six and a solid 5-1-3 in the last nine. The Senators fell 6-4 in Philadelphia to kick off an eight-game road trip.
Calgary has won the last three meetings -- they didn't face off last season -- and the Flames are 7-4-1 all-time at home to the Sens. Calgary's all-time record is 10-9-4.
POWERPLAY -- Calgary 18.4% (30-163, 14th); Ottawa 18.2% (25-137, 16th).
PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 85.2% (5th); Ottawa 81.2% (T-14th).
FLAMES -- LW Curtis Glencross (lower body), C Wayne Primeau (foot), LW Brandon Prust (jaw), D Jim Vandermeer (ankle), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out.
SENATORS -- RW Jesse Winchester (upper body), D Anton Volchenkov (upper body) and D Filip Kuba (groin) are all doubtful. None of them skated yesterday.
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
1. Fat at Christmas: The Flames moved into top spot in the Northwest Division by beating Anaheim, but now face a team that's not a rival and struggling. With the Wild on the horizon and the holidays upon us, it's a chance to lose a little focus and take it easy on what appears to be a weaker team in the league. The Flames are not good enough to win without effort.
2. What happened to the scoring?: The Sens' goaltending has been the question mark for several seasons, but what could be counted on in past seasons was the team's ability to score goals by the bucket load. Dany Heatley is leading the way with a point-per-game pace and seems headed for another 40-goal season, but the Sens are ahead of only the Tampa Bay Lightning with 2.38 goals per game.
3. Kiprusoff versus ... who knows?: Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has faced the Senators four times in his career, with three victories and a shootout loss. He's been playing well the last six weeks. The Sens' goaltending situation is murky at best. Alex Auld, who started the year as the backup, has allowed 19 goals in his last four starts, while Martin Gerber has surrendered seven goals in his last two games.
PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...
D Dion Phaneuf. The Flames defenceman has gone 17 games without scoring a goal and has only one tally in 24 contests. He's also minus-11 on the season, well short of expectations for a Norris Trophy finalist. Still, barring injury, you can expect Phaneuf to be counted on to play about 28 minutes. With plenty of days off over the past week, it's a good bet Phaneuf will be on a mission.
LW Dany Heatley. The Calgary product snapped a six-game goal-scoring slump with a pair in his team's 6-4 loss to Philadelphia Tuesday. Heatley has not had great personal success against the Flames -- one goal and three assists to go with a minus-4 rating in six games -- but has had strong outings at the Saddledome. He was recently reunited with Jason Spezza, and the dividends were instant against the Flyers.
IT'S WORTH NOTING ...
Flames LW Curtis Glencross said he won't play tonight and will miss his fifth straight game due to a 'lower body' injury believed to be a knee problem, but did practice fully with the team yesterday.
He said maybe he'll play in Monday's clash with the Minnesota Wild and even more likely by the New Year's Eve game against Edmonton.
"It's close, but you still don't have the pop you had before," said Glencross, who has five goals and 19 points in 30 games this season. "With my style of game, I can't be out there playing only with finesse. I've got to grind it out and can't come back too early and tweak it again."
At least he received a mental boost by practising.
"Absolutely. Being out there having fun with the boys is better than skating by yourself or spending all day in the game. It felt good."
BY THE NUMBERS
Flames C Craig Conroy needs three points to reach 500 for his career. Conroy has been on a roll of late, too, with one goal and five assists in the last four games ... The Senators summoned D Brian Lee from the minors in case Anton Volchenkov can't play ... Ottawa C Dean McAmmond left yesterday's practice with an arm injury, and his status hadn't been determined before the team left for Calgary. He missed 11 games with pneumonia and only returned to the lineup against the Flyers ... Against Philadelphia, Sens D Chris Phillips scored his first goal in 58 games. The Sens are 34-4-5 when Phillips scores. He's actually on a four-game point streak (1-3-4) ... Calgary's penalty killers have successfully snuffed 50-of-54 shorthanded situations over the past 16 games. The Flames were shorthanded only once against the Ducks in what became a tamer-than-expected affair ... Even with the goalie struggles of late and losing skids, the Sens are 10th in the league in goals-against average, with 2.69. In comparison, Calgary is tied for 21st at 2.97.