SUN Hockey Pool

Flames Game Day

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

COMING IN

Riding high after 5-2 victory Tuesday over the San Jose Sharks, the Flames are rolling. They've won eight of their last 10 games. The Islanders had a two-goal lead in Edmonton Monday, but couldn't hold on.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Isles and Flames have met just twice since the lockout, with the Islanders winning 5-4 in a shootout in Calgary last season and 3-2 on Long Island in 2005-06.

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 18.9% (35-185, 13th); New York 18.5% (32-173, 16th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 85.2% (5th); New York 82.4% (12th).

INJURIES

CALGARY -- C Wayne Primeau (foot), RW Brandon Prust (jaw), D Jim Vandermeer (ankle), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out.

NEW YORK -- G Rick DiPietro (groin) is probable. C Doug Weight (leg) is ques-tionable. D Radek Martinek (shoulder), D Andy Sutton (foot), LW Andy Hilbert (foot), Mike Sillinger (hip) are out.

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

1. From first to worst: The Flames were all fired up for their meeting with the Sharks Tuesday and racked up a 4-0 lead before the two-minute mark of the second period. Motivation is tough to manufacture when the NHL's worst team comes to town. The Isles have struggled this season, winning twice since November. Focus will be a challenge for the Flames.

2. All right with Rick? Injuries have kept goaltender Rick DiPietro on the shelf for all but five games this season. He won his first game after a month off when the Isles beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Boxing Day, but has struggled with groin issues and lost his next start against the Phoenix Coyotes Jan. 2. He's expected to be available tonight.

3. Snub snap from slumber? Flames D Dion Phaneuf went through a long cold streak last season and scored 11 of his 17 goals from Jan. 30 to season's end. Last year's Norris Trophy finalist didn't even make the all-star team this season, so will that help spark the proud blueliner to pick up his game? He's currently mired in a 23-game goal drought.

PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...

C Daymond Langkow: The under-rated middleman is on a six-game point streak, with five goals and nine points to his credit in those games. He's also scored eight times in the last dozen contests and is showing a lot of chemistry with winger Todd Bertuzzi these days. Langkow is parking himself in or around the blue paint and letting his linemates Bertuzzi and Rene Bourque find him with passes.

ISLANDERS

D Mark Streit: You know things aren't going well when your leading scorer is a defenceman. Streit is the man on the Island, tied with veteran C Doug Weight with 32 points heading into tonight's game. Streit is a deadly powerplay quarterback, and seven of his eight goals on the season have come with the man-advantage. He's on pace to hit 78 points and shatter a personal best of 62 he set last season.

IT'S WORTH NOTING ...

Former Vancouver Canucks pest Jarkko Ruutu was suspended two games yesterday for biting down on Andrew Peters' thumb, breaking the skin in the process.

The Ottawa Senators' move is almost unheard of, and the Flames don't want to see things like that creep into the game.

"I don't know if I've ever witnessed anything like a biting incident off the top of my head," said winger Michael Cammalleri.

"I would say some real dirty high sticks or elbows ... that's the dirtiest stuff I've seen.

"At first, I had to kind of gather my thoughts, 'Did he really bite him?' Then to see his reaction, I was like, 'Oh, he must have bit him that hard.'

"I guess I haven't given it too much thought after that, but we don't want to see biting in our game, I don't think, by any means."

Defenceman Cory Sarich doesn't like the facewash the Buffalo Sabres forward was giving Ruutu, either, but doesn't see it as an excuse.

"I can sympathize a little bit with Ruutu," said Sarich. "But still, no place for that stuff."

KIPPER MOVES INTO SECOND

G Miikka Kiprusoff's 196 wins in a Flames uniform is good enough for second on the franchise's all-time wins list behind Mike Vernon ... C Daymond Langkow's point streak reached six games and he now has nine points (five goals, four assists) in that span ... Adding Mike Grier's tally to their total, Calgary has now allowed seven shorthanded goals against. That's the second worst total in the league. The New York Rangers lead with 12 against, and the Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets both have seven ... Just think, by this time next year, RW Jarome Iginla will be awfully close to earning that silver stick to celebrate his 1,000th NHL game. He played his 900th Tuesday night ... In the first 11 games in which Iginla didn't record a point this season, the Flames went 2-6-3. They've won the last five when their captain doesn't earn a point.


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