The surging Minnesota Wild attempt to continue their strong play when they visit the Northwest Division-rival Calgary Flames on Saturday. Minnesota has climbed into second place in the division thanks to a 4-1-1 stretch that includes a 3-1 road victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Saturday’s matchup is the first of two in a row against Calgary for the Wild, who host the Flames on Tuesday.
Calgary is coming off its second consecutive loss, a 3-1 home setback against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Defenceman T.J. Brodie’s goal is the Flames’ only tally over their last two contests. The club has scored two goals or less in each of its last six losses, including two shootout defeats.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN North, FSN Wisconsin (Minnesota), CBC
ABOUT THE WILD (8-6-2): Minnesota is expected to be without Cal Clutterbuck, who suffered a thigh contusion in a collision with Edmonton’s Taylor Hall late in Thursday’s victory. It originally was thought the right-winger injured his knee as he was helped off the ice. Hall was given a two-game suspension Friday after receiving a five-minute kneeing penalty on the play. Centre Charlie Coyle was recalled from Houston of the American Hockey League and likely will fill Clutterbuck’s spot in the lineup. Coyle made his NHL debut earlier this month, registering six shots on goal in five scoreless games.
ABOUT THE FLAMES (5-7-3): Captain Jarome Iginla is having a hard time finding the back of the net. A two-time 50-goal scorer who has tallied at least 31 times each of the last 11 seasons, has only one goal in his first 15 games. He enters Saturday’s contest with an eight-game goalless drought, as his lone tally came on Feb. 5 at Detroit. With 1,083 career points, Iginla is five away from tying former Flame Theo Fleury for 59th place on the all-time list. Joey MacDonald is expected to make his third start for Calgary as Miikka Kiprusoff is at least a week away from returning from his sprained MCL.
1. Minnesota posted a 2-1 shootout victory over Calgary on Feb. 11 for its first road win of the season.
2. The Flames registered 27 shots against the Kings on Wednesday, with Iginla accounting for one-third of the total.
3. Calgary may have some fresh faces in the lineup as RW Akim Aliu was recalled from Abbotsford of the AHL and LW Sven Baertschi is close to returning from a hip injury.
PREDICTION: Flames 2, Wild 1