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Flames try to gain traction against visiting Blues

The Flames have struggled at times to score goals this season, but the club hopes a pair of players coming off their first tallies can get things rolling.

Calgary looks to win back-to-back games for the first time this year tonight against the St. Louis Blues, who take aim at a fourth straight victory.

The Flames are tied for 24th in the league with 19 goals on the season and were shut out by Nashville last Saturday before matching their highest goal output of the campaign on Wednesday versus the Avalanche.

Roman Horak netted the first NHL goal of his career and Lee Stempniak tallied his first marker in a Calgary uniform in the 4-2 victory that moved the club to 2-1-1 on its season-long, six-game homestand.

Stempniak, acquired from the Coyotes on Aug. 29 for Daymond Langkow, had just three assists over his first seven games after notching 19 goals a season ago.

"You want to get off to a good start. It always seems like it's easier if you score early and just build on that," said Stempniak. "It's not the start I wanted, but I feel like I was playing pretty well and just stuck with it and hopefully I broke through and more will come soon."

Rene Bourque scored twice -- getting credited with his second goal after getting pulled down on a breakaway with the Avalanche's net open -- and Miikka Kiprusoff made 34 saves in the win.

"We wanted to make sure we threw pucks at the net as much as we could and had one guy going to the net," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said.

The Blues are coming off Wednesday's 3-0 victory over the Canucks, with Alexander Steen scoring twice in the win, the 1,500th in club history. Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists for St. Louis, with the last two victories of its three-game run coming on a four-game road trip that ends on Sunday in Edmonton.

A victory tonight would give the Blues their longest winning streak since a five-game burst from Dec. 21-31 of last year.

Backup Brian Elliott has been in net for each of the last three wins, making 32 saves on Wednesday to log his first shutout of the season and 10th of his career. He is 4-0-0 on the season with a 1.59 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.

"You can't get too satisfied," Elliott said. "You sit back a little bit and it comes to bite you. I try to keep an even keel. Every time I get in there I just keep doing the same thing."

No. 1 Jaroslav Halak, who hasn't played since allowing four goals over two periods in a loss to the Kings on Oct. 18, is 1-4-0 with a 3.47 GAA and .835 save percentage.

The Flames swept their four-game series with the Blues last season, but St. Louis halted that skid with a 5-2 home win on Oct. 10 behind a goal and an assist each from Alex Pietrangelo and Jason Arnott.

The Blues have lost two straight and nine of their last 12 in Calgary.