Flames aim to put back-to-backs to bed with wins

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

Back at it for the Calgary Flames.

In back-to-back fashion.

Which for some reason -- if you'll excuse the cliche -- has had the Flames' backs against the wall all season.

Tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings is the first of Calgary's final four to end the regular season.

Their games consist of two sets of back-to-backs, which has been a nightmare situation. Their record in the second half of those sets is a horrible 2-9-1. They're a below-par 4-5-1 in the first half.

"It's frustrating more than anything," right winger David Moss said. "We're definitely a well-conditioned team, I don't think that's the issue. It's not getting the starts you want, and then it seems like it's an uphill battle."

Back-to-back sets are a big part of life in the NHL -- and not easy -- but the Flames have struggled mightily, which has everybody flummoxed.

"I can't tell you what it is, but it's on us as players to be more prepared than (Friday's loss in Minny) and early in the game," captain Jarome Iginla said. "On those back-to-backs, we haven't been good enough and it's time to fix it."

The good news for Calgary is a strong performance in their last four games can wash away that frustration.

That's especially the case for their set tonight against the Los Angeles Kings and tomorrow in Vancouver against the Canucks, which will be a major tipping point in the battle for the Northwest Division crown.

Head coach Mike Keenan said it's no longer about performances in back-to-back games, specifically.

All that's worth concentrating on is compiling wins.

"You're not going to play back-to-back in the playoffs, not very likely, I don't think they do any more, maybe because of television ... So it's irrelevant in the playoffs."


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