The Calgary Flames will try to avoid damaging their playoff hopes with a fourth straight loss when they visit the Minnesota Wild for tonight's battle at Xcel Energy Center.
Although they've gained points in consecutive losses, the Flames are not helping their postseason cause with their recent 0-1-2 stretch. Calgary has fallen into a tie with San Jose for the 10th seed in the West and is two points behind Los Angeles and Phoenix for the conference's eighth and final playoff berth. The Kings and Coyotes are in action tonight against St. Louis and Colorado, respectively.
The Flames, who are 6-2-3 in March, were dealt a 2-1 overtime loss in Colorado on Tuesday, as David Jones scored with 1:09 left in OT. The victory allowed the Avalanche to jump into the seventh seed in the West, one point ahead of the Kings and Coyotes and three in front of Calgary.
Matt Hunwick skated the puck in down the left wing during the winning sequence and dished it over to Paul Stastny, who got to the net and put on a shot on Miikka Kiprusoff. The save was made, but Jones was there to stuff in the rebound.
Matt Stajan scored the lone goal while Kiprusoff stopped 31 shots for the Flames.
"We played well but we missed some opportunities," said Calgary forward Alex Tanguay. "Right now we wish a few more of them would go in. We're doing okay, not all the teams are going to go undefeated the rest of the way. It's a setback, but we have a game in hand still and this is a game that could have went either way."
The contest began a three-game road trip for the Flames, who are just 14-16-8 as the guest this season. Calgary will complete the swing Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
Calgary hopes to get back on track tonight against a Wild team that has been all but officially eliminated from the Western Conference playoff race. The Flames have also won four in a row in this Northwest Division series since losing the opening matchup between the clubs in Calgary on Nov. 8. The Flames have also won three of their last four games in St. Paul.
Minnesota is coming off Monday's 2-0 home win over the Vancouver Canucks. Josh Harding made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Wild surprised the defending Western Conference champions at Xcel Energy Center.
Erik Christensen and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Wild, who had lost three straight and eight of nine coming into the win.
"Everyone was putting their body on the line for me tonight," said Harding. "We just want to come out here every game and put our best foot forward the rest of the way."
The Wild had been winless (0-3) on a five-game homestand before beating the Canucks.
Minnesota is 16-15-4 as the host this season.