Wild-Flames Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 07, 2011
The Minnesota Wild are still not scoring many goals, but they also have not given up too many of late. Looking to win five straight for the first time in almost two years, the Wild try to continue their recent success against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. While Minnesota's 30 goals are among the fewest in the NHL, it's allowed just three during the winning streak. The Wild (7-3-3) have killed 14 straight penalties and backup Josh Harding has stopped 126 of the 129 shots he's faced during the run. Despite his stellar play of late, Harding is expected to give way to starter Niklas Backstrom in this game. First-year coach Mike Yeo made that announcement prior to Harding making 30 saves in a 2-1 win over St. Louis on Saturday. "That's the coaches' call," Harding said. "Whatever they decide. Obviously Backy, he's been awesome." Backstrom, who has not played since losing 3-2 to Anaheim on Oct. 27, has a 1.11 goals-against average while going 8-1-1 in his last 11 starts versus Calgary. His play is a big reason the Wild have won three straight and 10 of 13 against the Flames. Minnesota, which has not won five consecutive games since Nov. 27-Dec. 5, 2009, is trying for its sixth victory in seven visits to Calgary. The Wild have outscored the Flames 13-2 during the three-game winning streak in the series. "Even (though we got) four in a row, we're going on our toughest stretch right now," said winger Guillaume Latendresse, who has scored two of his three goals over the last two games. "Five games on the road against really tough teams. The toughest part for us is we're going to have to bring that game on the road and try to bring that game every night." The Wild likely need to improve on the power play, where they are 6 for 54 this season and 1 for 18 during the four-game winning streak. Devin Setoguchi scored the lone power-play goal during that stretch in a 2-1 overtime win at Detroit last Tuesday. He has a goal with an assist in his last two games versus Calgary. Latendresse has three goals and two assists during his last four against the Flames. Calgary (6-6-1) heads home after concluding a 2-1-0 trip with a 2-1 victory over Colorado on Sunday. "It's time to step it up and be mentally ready to play," forward Olli Jokinen told the Flames' official website. Curtis Glencross and Matt Giordano scored as the Flames won for the fourth time in six contests. "I know you guys hear it all the time but if we do things a certain way and play a certain way, we have success," coach Brent Sutter said. "When we don't, we don't." Jarome Iginla added an assist Sunday for his fourth point in three games. However, the Calgary captain has one goal and one assist in his last six against the Wild. Miikka Kiprusoff, who has stopped 60 of 62 shots to win his last two starts, has a 2.88 GAA while losing seven of 10 starts versus Minnesota.
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