Flames fighting for playoff lives

Battling for their playoff lives, the Calgary Flames begin a stretch of five straight road games on Friday when they face the Minnesota Wild. The Flames, who completed their recent five-game homestand with a 2-1-2 record, will also face the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers during their final extended road trip of the regular season.

CALGARY — Battling for their playoff lives, the Calgary Flames begin a stretch of five straight road games on Friday when they face the Minnesota Wild.

The Flames, who completed their recent five-game homestand with a 2-1-2 record, will also face the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers during their final extended road trip of the regular season.

“It seems that we always find a way to elevate our games in situations that we need to and right now we’re all in,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. “The chips are all on the table right now. There’s no bluffs. We have to come up with our best performances and it’s fun.”

Calgary (40-27-7) erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to Dallas on Wednesday at the Saddledome before eventually losing 4-3 to the Stars in a shootout.

“We got some big points,” said Flames defenceman Kris Russell. “Obviously we would have liked to have added a few, especially (on Wednesday), but we know that going into a road trip like this we’re carrying some momentum, so we’ve got to make sure that we really go after some teams on the road and play strong.”

The Flames still gained a point on Wednesday to retain their grip on third place in the Pacific Division, just one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings (36-23-14), who face the New York Islanders on the road on Thursday night.

“You can have brain damage worrying about all the different gyrations of who beats who and looking out of town,” said Calgary general manager Brad Treliving, who wants the Flames to concentrate on playing one game at a time starting with Friday’s tough test against the Wild. “We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. This isn’t a five-game road trip, it’s one game five times, and that’s the way we have to look at it right now.”

After making 27 saves to help Calgary earn a point against Dallas on Wednesday, Karri Ramo will make his fifth straight start in net for the Flames against the Wild.

“We’ve said it all along the way, we have two goalies capable of winning games,” said Hartley, who has also chosen to go with Jonas Hiller in net for extended stretches earlier this season.

“Obviously right now we feel that Karri is playing well. He’s giving us a chance to win games, but at the same time we’ve been like this all year and we’ve very comfortable with it. That’s our situation. It’s one game at a time.”

Since acquiring goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14 in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the Wild (42-25-7) have made their way up the standings and into a playoff spot.

Dubnyk has compiled a 24-6-1 record during his time with the Wild, who hold down the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets (38-24-12).

“He’s a guy that just never quits,” said Russell, who won gold with Dubnyk as a member of Canada’s team at the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver.

“He’s showed what he can do and what level he can play at, so obviously he’s playing at the top of his game right now. He’s a guy that we’re going to have to challenge and get a lot of pucks to and get a lot of bodies there, because he’s playing so well.”

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read