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Streaking Flames visit struggling Blue Jackets

The Calgary Flames will try to extend their winning streak high four games when they visit the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets for tonight's clash at Nationwide Arena.

The Flames have won three straight for the second time this season, posting recent victories over Minnesota, Detroit and Vancouver. Calgary last won four in a row during a six-game tear from Jan. 21-Feb. 3 of last season.

Calgary's latest victory came Friday in Vancouver, as the Flames began their longest road trip of the season with a 3-1 decision over the Canucks. It was the first of seven straight on the road for Calgary, which is just 7-10-2 as the visiting team this season. The Flames will stay away from Calgary while the World Junior Championship is in town to play at the city's Scotiabank Saddledome.

Calgary will not play its next home game until Jan. 7 against Minnesota.

The Flames ended a five-game road skid with Friday's win in Vancouver. Curtis Glencross had a goal and an assist while Mikael Backlund scored the winner and Olli Jokinen added an empty-netter for the Flames. Jokinen has registered a point in six straight games, while Glencross has reached the scoresheet in his last five tests.

Leland Irving filled in for workhorse goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and the rookie stopped 29 shots for his first career win. Kiprusoff is expected to be back between the pipes tonight and is 15-5-3 with a 2.13 goals-against average in his career against Columbus.

Flames forward Alex Tanguay has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury and is questionable for tonight. The veteran winger is fourth on Calgary with 22 points this season.

Columbus, meanwhile, is dead last in the NHL with just 22 points on the season and the club enters tonight having lost five in a row -- all in regulation.

The Blue Jackets were in action Monday in Chicago, where they ended a three- game road trip with a 4-1 setback to the Blackhawks. Viktor Stalberg scored twice and Corey Crawford made 37 stops to lead Chicago to the easy win at United Center.

Steve Mason was tagged for all four goals on just 22 shots in the setback.

"It's a typical game for us where we start out good then mistakes kill us," said Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "Instead of us making the plays it was them making the plays. We created chances, but they capitalized on theirs and we didn't."

Columbus will close December with two of three games on home ice before beginning the new year on a four-game road trip. The Blue Jackets are 6-10-2 on home ice compared to a 3-12-2 mark as the guest.

The Blue Jackets are 2-0 against the Flames this season and have taken three of four overall in the series. Columbus has won two in a row and six of the last eight meetings in Ohio.