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Wild Travel North To Battle Calgary Flames

(Sports Network) – Back home after a tough road trip, the Calgary Flames will host the Minnesota Wild tonight in a Northwest Division battle at the Saddledome.

The Flames made stops in Detroit, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on a five-game road trip and recorded a 1-2-2 mark during the swing. The lone victory came Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, as Calgary notched a 3-2 shootout win over the Flyers.

Roughly 24 hours after the win in Philly, however, the Flames were dealt a convincing loss on the other side of Pennsylvania as Sidney Crosby netted the sixth hat trick of his career to lead the Penguins to a 4-1 victory at CONSOL Energy Center.

Rene Bourque scored the lone goal for Calgary, while Miikka Kiprusoff allowed three goals on 42 shots for the Flames, who have lost seven of their last nine games.

The Flames are playing their first game in Calgary since they ended a four- game home losing streak with a 7-2 victory over Chicago on Nov. 19. Calgary is 5-5-0 at the Saddledome this season.

The Wild have not fared well since winning three straight from Nov. 14-19, losing three of their last four games. The lone victory of that stretch came Friday night against visiting Nashville, but Minnesota gave up seven goals in a road loss to Colorado the next night.

The Avalanche recorded a 7-4 triumph over the Wild on Saturday, scoring four times in the second period alone to take the contest at the Pepsi Center.

Kyle Brodziak led the way with two goals for the Wild. Matt Cullen and Antti Miettinen each scored a goal in the loss, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 31 of 38 shots.

“We sure weren’t great tonight,” Brodziak said. “The second period we were just not ready for their team speed and we just did not counter.”

The Wild are 4-4-1 on the road this season, but will get a chance to host Calgary this Friday in St. Paul.

Minnesota beat the Flames, 2-1, at Xcel Energy Center back on Nov. 5 and has won three straight and seven of eight overall in the series. The Wild have also won three in a row in Calgary.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.