No luck in Atlanta for Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

ATLANTA -- Craig Conroy had an idea the Calgary Flames record in Atlanta wasn't very good.

Still, he had no idea it was this bad.

When told the Flames have never beat the Thrashers in Atlanta, Conroy was pretty much stunned.

"Never?" he asked. "Oh geez ... I had a feeling we haven't been successful. I know I haven't won since I came here."

Atlanta may be the original home of the Flames, but it hasn't been sweet.

Five times they've returned to meet the Thrashers since the expansion team joined the NHL in 1999-2000.

Four times, the Flames have lost, and one meeting ended in a tie.

Karma for taking away the Flames way back in 1980?

"There seems to be teams or places you can't seem to win, but it's only been five games. Who knows why," Conroy said.

"Maybe they've been on back-to-backs. Or maybe it's just been bad games.

"I know they did have a high-scoring team for a few years."

Curiously, the Flames have dominated all four games at home. Coming off a dreadful performance Friday night in Carolina should give the Flames some extra motivation against a Thrashers team that is only ahead of the New York Islanders in the league standings. But the Flames arrived here nearly one year ago on the heels of a disappointing loss to the Washington Capitals -- a game that began Washington's wild run to the playoffs -- and then blew a 3-0 lead before losing 6-4 to the Thrashers, who were paced by an Ilya Kovalchuk hat trick. History tends to repeat itself.

"There's always a first for everything," Conroy said.

"It's a game we have to win. With Vancouver doing so well, we have to go in with that attitude, that we have to win that game."

Ice chips

Right winger Kris Chucko was re-assigned to the AHL Quad City Flames, and replaced by LW Brett Sutter and LW David Van der Gulik. Chucko, the first-round choice from 2004, played his first NHL game Thursday night in Philadelphia and skated in Friday's clash. He had no points and two penalty minutes in his stint. Sutter had a three-game stint in Calgary in December, while Van der Gulik skated in a trio of games, the last in Ottawa when this road trip started.


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