The Calgary Flames try to post their first five-game winning streak in seven years when they visit the struggling Montreal Canadiens on Thursday when they meet at the Bell Centre.
The Flames, who are on their third four-game winning streak of the season, have not won five in a row since February 7-15, 1997.
Calgary, which is 4-0 since the All-Star break, opened a five-game road trip with a 2-1 triumph at Minnesota on Sunday.
Jarome Iginla and defenseman Robyn Regehr scored and Miika Kipprusoff made 15 saves for the Flames, who also had just 16 shots on goal.
Montreal, which has lost a season-high four straight games since the break, is coming off a 4-1 setback to Atlanta on Tuesday in which it gave up the game’s final four goals.
Jan Bulis scored for the Canadiens, who are 0-for-9 on the power play in their last two games.
In the first meeting of the season, Quebec native Martin Gelinas scored with 74 seconds remaining to give the Flames a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens in Calgary on November 20. That was Kiprusoff’s debut with Calgary and he turned aside 22 shots after being acquired from San Jose earlier in the week.
Joe Juneau, battling an injury and a serious slump, as he is pointless in fifteen games, will sit this one out. Expect him to be replaced on the third line by Steve Begin. Jason Ward will thankfully return to the lineup, after he was, for no apparent reason, scratched by Coach Claude. He will return in place of Chad Kilger, who unfortunately will also sit out.
While I don’t mind seeing Kilger hit the sidelines (even though he hasn’t played terrible of late), the fact that he is being cast aside in favour of a pair of smaller, less physical, slower players against a team such a hardworking team such as Calgary is dissapointing. In case you haven’t guessed, tonight will mark the return of Pierre Dagenais to the Habs’ lineup.
Mathieu Garon will at last get the start for the Habs. He has won his last three starts, and will certainly not be tired. Having played only ten times this year, Garon will relieve a tired, slumping Jose Theodore. Theo has, infact, been downright brutal of late, losing eight of his last ten and allowing more goals than a Timbit goaltender.