Flames Game Day

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:21 PM ET

CALGARY FLAMES (39-20-6)

ATLANTA THRASHERS (24-35-6)

TODAY, 1 P.M. PHILIPS ARENA TV: SPORTSNET RADIO: FAN 960

COMING IN

Calgary's two-game winning streak and six-game road winning streak were snapped Friday night with a 6-1 dud of an effort at the Carolina Hurricanes. Atlanta beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 Friday and have cobbled together a 5-4-1 mark in their last 10.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Trips back to their roots have not been kind to the Flames. Atlanta was home to the Flames before the relocation north of the border in 1980, and since the Thrashers joined the NHL, Calgary has visited five times -- losing four meetings and tying one.

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 19.1% (54-283, 16th); Atlanta 19.6% (52-265, 13th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 84.8% (3rd); Atlanta 75.3% (T-29th).

INJURIES

FLAMES -- LW Todd Bertuzzi (knee), C Daymond Langkow (hand), D Mark Giordano (shoulder), LW Rene Bourque (ankle), C Wayne Primeau (broken foot) and D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are all out.

THRASHERS -- None.

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

1. BOUNCING BACK: The last time the Flames went on an extended road swing because the Brier took over the Saddledome, they won two of three and then fell apart. Well, they've won two of three to begin this sojourn. Let's see if history repeats. Plenty of players need bounce-back games -- the top line especially. Dion Phaneuf also had a frightful affair in Carolina.

2. PUTRID PK: On the season, Calgary's penalty killing remains among the best in the league. Recently, it's been horrible. Over the last four games, eight goals have been allowed while shorthanded. In that spell, Calgary's kill rate is a lowly 63.7%. You can't pin it all on backup goalie Curtis McElhinney, either, even though he was victimized for half of those tallies.

3. CAN IGGY STAY HOT?: The Flames sniper has been on a tear of late with nine goals and nine assists in the last 18 games. Iginla's on a seven-game point streak (8-8-16). His torrid spell has the Calgary captain within five goals of Michael Cammalleri for top spot on the team in that department and he'd moved into a tie for fourth in league scoring prior to last night's action.

PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...

FLAMES

C Olli Jokinen -- A let down was probably to be expected in the second game in as many nights after being traded and going through all the emotions and effort that comes with that kind of move. Jokinen said he was looking forward to the scrutiny of playing for a team in a city where hockey mattered. Here is his chance to prove to the Flames faithful he means it by being a top player every night on a top team.

THRASHERS

LW Ilya Kovalchuk -- Atlanta's one and only marquee player was February's player of the month after leading all players with 13 goals and 21 points in 12 games. The team captain had a slow start to the season, but has scored at least one goal in 10 of his past 12 games. With 35 goals and 74 points, he's right behind Jarome Iginla in the league's scoring race. The last time these teams met, Kovalchuk scored three times in a 6-4 win.

IT'S WORTH NOTING ...

The Flames were given a day off in Atlanta yesterday -- having played three games in four nights in three different cities -- despite their less-than-top-flight performance in Carolina ... The team did make news by reassigning RW Kris Chucko back to the AHL Quad City Flames. The 2004 first-round draft choice played two games for the big club ... G Miikka Kiprusoff's next win will be No. 199 of his career ... RW Jarome Iginla is one assist shy of trying Gary Suter for third place on the franchise's all-time list at 437. Al MacInnis (609) and Theoren Fleury (460) are first and second ... A win today would be the 40th of the season for Calgary in the club's 67th game, which would be the second-fastest trip to that mark in franchise history. In the Stanley Cup-winning season of 1988-89, they only needed 59 games to win 40. Three times, it's taken until the 69th game ... Calgary's record against the Eastern Conference is 10-3-1, but Sunday has not been kind to the team this season. The Flames are 1-5-0 when playing on the Sabbath. The one victory was at the New York Rangers ... The second-period five-on-three goal LW Ray Whitney scored for Carolina the other night was only the second time on the road Calgary surrendered a goal when down two men. The Flames have now killed 15 of 17 five-on-three situations ... A change of scenery has served C Rich Peverley well. Claimed off waivers from Nashville in January, Peverley has 22 points (9-13-22) in 22 games with Atlanta ... The Thrashers are coming off a big win over the Habs, but the affair may be remembered more for the second-period stream of dust-ups. Among them was a scrap between 18-year-old rookie and third-overall pick D Zach Bogosian and Montreal plug Ryan O'Byrne, which was a little one-sided in the Montreal player's favour. Still, Bogosian received kudos for hanging in there: "Bogosian looked like Rocky there, taking all the hits and still standing and battling," said Thrashers G Kari Lehtonen.

FLAMES SCORING LEADERS

GP G A Pt.

Iginla 65 29 48 77

Cammalleri 64 34 33 67

Jokinen 59 23 21 44

Bertuzzi 57 15 28 43

Langkow 57 18 24 42

Bourque 58 21 19 40

Conroy 65 8 32 40

Phaneuf 65 9 28 37

Moss 65 19 15 34

Glencross 59 10 23 33

Aucoin 65 10 18 28

Leopold 66 7 14 21

Giordano 58 2 17 19

Sarich 65 2 17 19

Boyd 59 10 7 17

Pardy 50 1 9 10

Nystrom 59 3 5 8

Regehr 63 0 8 8

Lundmark 10 2 4 6

Primeau 24 0 4 4

Roy 39 3 0 3

Vandermeer 28 0 3 3

Sutter 3 1 0 1

Van Der Gulick 3 0 1 1

GP GAA SV%

Kiprusoff 60 2.73 .908

McElhinney 8 3.94 .881

THRASHERS SCORING LEADERS

GP G A Pt.

Kovalchuk 65 35 39 74

White 65 17 40 57

Kozlov 65 18 36 54

Little 62 26 17 43

Hainsey 65 5 27 32

Peverley 49 11 20 31

Armstrong 65 16 10 26

Reasoner 62 10 13 23

Enstrom 65 2 14 16

Slater 48 6 9 15

Perrin 61 5 10 15

Thorburn 65 6 7 13

Boulton 59 2 8 10

Oystrick 40 3 6 9

Bogosian 30 3 5 8

Crabb 26 3 4 7

Stuart 16 3 2 5

Valabik 39 0 5 5

Exelby 42 0 4 4

GP GAA SV%

Lehtonen 38 3.11 .909

Hedberg 24 3.61 .884

Pavelec 11 3.55 .884


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