Flames make return

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:10 PM ET


 SEASON SERIES:

 The Canucks won the season series, just barely, 3-2-1.

 LAST PLAYOFF MEETING:

 The Canucks won the 1994 first-round series with triple-overtime wins in Games 6 and 7 in their run to the Stanley Cup final.

 THE SKINNY:

 It's the Flames' first playoff foray since 1996 when they lost four straight games in the first round to Chicago. The last time the Flames got out of the first round was during their Stanley Cup run in 1989. That spring they opened against the Canucks in a series that went the distance before Joel Otto's famous overtime goal won the game and the round 4-3 for the Flames ... The Flames and Canucks have met in five previous playoff series -- all in the first round -- including the first one in 1982 when the Canucks prevailed 2-1. The Flames then won the following two seasons, both by 3-1 counts ... RW Jarome Iginla, who has two playoff games on his resume, sniped 41 goals this season to finish in a three-way tie for the Rocket Richard Trophy awarded to the league's top goal scorer. Iginla also tied for 16th in points (73). RW Markus Naslund finished fourth in league scoring with 84 points, thanks to a team-high 35 goals in 78 games ... The Flames and Canucks are the worst two playoff teams on the powerplay -- 21st (15.1%) and 22nd (14.9%) respectively overall. On the penalty kill, the Canucks finished third overall (85.9%).

 HURTING:

 The Flames finished the season thin up the middle with C Dean McAmmond (back), C Stephane Yelle (hip) and C Steve Reinprecht (shoulder) all injured. Only Reinprecht is out for the season, while Yelle and McAmmond are day-to-day. Also, Toni Lydman (upper body) is day-to-day and LW Dave Lowry (abdominal) is out indefinitely. Out for the season for the Canucks is LW Magnus Arvedson (knee), while C Mats Lindgren (back) is out indefinitely and D Bryan Allen (shoulder) is day-to-day.

 POSSIBLE PLAYOFF HERO:

 Flames G Miikka Kiprusoff is being counted upon to steal a few games in the playoffs like he did in the regular season.


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