FLAMES (14-20-4) at CANUCKS (22-11-6)
TV: SNET-P, SNET-CGY
Last 10: Calgary 3-7-0, Vancouver 8-2-0
Season Series: This is the last of five meetings. The Vancouver Canucks have taken three of four, including Saturday's 5-2 win at Rogers Arena. The Calgary Flames' lone win came March 3 at home, a 4-2 victory in which Jarome Iginla, since traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, scored the winning goal.
Big Story: While the Flames play out the string and build for the future, the Canucks still have unfinished business. With the Minnesota Wild still chasing the Canucks for top spot in the Northwest Division and the difference between third and sixth place in the Western Conference, the Canucks continue to work towards locking the title down. They'll have to do it over a five-game road trip, however.
Flames: The mission is clear in Calgary these days. After sending off Blake Comeau, Jay Bouwmeester and Iginla to seek their fortunes with playoff-contending teams, the Flames let a two-game slip build into five and began looking towards the future. Still, there are games to be played and the team feels much better if they are won, especially if doing so keeps them out of dead last in the NHL. The Flames' 3-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday not only kept them from replacing the Avs at the bottom of the League, but it also ended a 13-game road losing streak, which had tied a franchise record.
“It was getting embarrassing, so we’re glad to get it out of the way,” winger Alex Tanguay told the Calgary Sun. “It was a long time coming for us. We’re glad that we don’t have to hear about it anymore.”
Canucks: The decision to go with Cory Schneider as the No. 1 goalie continues to pay off. He picked up his fifth shutout of the season in the Canucks' 2-0 win against the Phoenix Coyotes and completed his 11th straight start, a streak during which he compiled four of those blankings. Still, that doesn't steal the back page headline in Vancouver these days.
That's reserved for the return of Ryan Kesler from a 20-game absence to open up the scoring Monday for Vancouver, sending home a deflection to give his team a lead Schneider never relinquished.
"I'm another piece to the puzzle," Kesler said. "There's a lot of pieces on this team and once we have them all together, we're a good team."
Who's hot: Tanguay has goals in back-to-back games. Joey MacDonald's 39 saves Monday marked a season high for him. … Schneider is 9-2-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average over his 11 straight starts, and has a 1.83 GAA in three victorious outings versus the Flames this season. Even though the Coyotes kept both Sedin twins off the board Monday, Henrik tallied two goals and three assists in his previous two games, while Daniel had four assists in his prior two. Dan Hamhuis got credit for an empty-netter Monday, which was really an own goal for the Coyotes that extended his point streak to three games and goal-scoring streak to two.
Injury report: Flames forward Jiri Hudler (upper body) was held out of Monday's game and is questionable, as is forward Brian McGrattan (shoulder). Defenseman Derek Smith (lower body) has missed three games and also remains questionable for Wednesday. … Roberto Luongo suffered a minor injury to his finger in warmups Monday, but should be able to back Schneider up. Defenseman Chris Tanev (leg) is still day-to-day.
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