CBC, 7:00 pm PST
Rival Territory: Matchsticks and Gasoline
Two games, two wins. That was a successful little road trip, wasn't it? After stumbling out of the gates, the Canucks are currently on a four-game winning streak after road wins against the Oilers and Wild this week. For the Flames, this will mark the end of a three-game road trip. Calgary is coming off wins versus Detroit and Columbus. This "winning streak" concept is new to the Flames this season as it is the first time they have won back-to-back games this season.
In the last matchup on January 23, the Canucks surrendered a 2-0 lead, but came back to win in a shootout. Zack Kassian scored once in regulation and once in the shootout to lead Vancouver to the win.
The Canucks have not lost in regulation to a division rival this season, going 4-0-1. The shootout loss came against the Oilers on January 20.
Vancouver will need to contain Alex Tanguay, who is currently riding a seven-game point streak. During the stretch, Tanguay has scored four goals and nine points.
Cory Schneider will make the start tonight between the pipes for the second consecutive night. In Thursday night's win against Minnesota, Schneider made 22 saves, allowing just one goal in the third period after Vancouver had already built a 4-0 lead.
The Flames took a big hit yesterday, placing Miika Kiprusoff on injured reserve with a sprained knee. In the January 23 contest against the Canucks, Kiprusoff made 34 saves and didn't allow any goals in the second or third periods. Calgary goaltenders have posted a 3.25 goals-against average, the sixth worst mark in the league.
Another hot start in the first period would bode well for Vancouver. While the Flames might not allow many shots, they allow plenty of goals. Early pressure mixed with quality shots on goal can pave the way for the Canucks to rack up their fifth straight win.