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Wild Finish Home and Home With Flames

(Sports Network) – After preventing the Flames from going perfect on a recent three-game homestand, the Minnesota Wild will now look to extend Calgary’s road losing streak to four straight games this evening as the clubs wrap a home-and-home set at Xcel Energy Center.

The Flames picked up home wins over Columbus and Toronto last week to win back-to-back games for the first time since October, but they couldn’t make it three in a row thanks to a 3-1 setback to the Wild on Saturday.

Matt Stajan had Calgary’s lone goal, while captain Jarome Iginla had a nine- game point streak (5 goals, 7 assists) come to an end. With the loss, the Flames fell one point back of their Northwest Division rival and into 14th place in the Western Conference.

“It didn’t happen offensively tonight,” Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. “Our urgency wasn’t where it needed to be. We played a team that’s in the same situation we’re in.”

Calgary, which plays its next three games on the road, has dropped nine of its last 11 as the guest.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 13-of-16 shots faced in Saturday’s loss, while Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves, including 14 in the third period.

Wild captain Mikko Koivu scored a goal and assisted on tallies by Antti Miettinen and Chuck Kobasew. Minnesota snapped a two-game slide and has lost seven of nine (2-5-2) prior to Saturday’s win.

“The guys managed the game really well,” Wild head coach Todd Richards said. “Getting the lead was big in a game like this. Everyone battled and competed very hard tonight.”

Minnesota, which has lost three in a row at home, had forward Matt Cullen back in the lineup for the first time in four games because of a groin injury.

These two clubs have now split four meetings already this season, with each team earning a home and road victory. The Wild have won eight of the last 11 meetings overall and four of the last six played at home.

These division rivals will wrap their season set in Calgary on Jan. 19.

Backstrom is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average versus the Flames this year and 10-7-5 with a 1.95 GAA in his career.

Kiprusoff fell to 1-2-0 with a 1.69 GAA in 2010-11 versus Minnesota and 1-6-2 in his last nine against the club.

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