The most remarkable aspect of the Calgary Flames' four-game winning streak is who hasn't been contributing.
Flames captain Jarome Iginla hopes to end a season-high eight-game goalless drought Saturday night when Calgary hosts the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Calgary -155 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas +145 (View NHL Bet Percentages).
Winning without production from Iginla is rare for the Flames (28-17-8), who prior to their current four-game streak, were 5-14-5 this season when their captain failed to score a goal.
Although Iginla, who ranks among the league leaders with 32 goals and 64 points, has been limited to three assists during the win streak, the Flames have found offense from other sources, scoring 16 times.
The eight-game drought is Iginla's longest since a nine-game stretch without a goal from Nov. 16-Dec. 6, 2005. He could have a difficult time scoring his first goal since Jan. 5 against the Stars (30-20-5), who have held him to one goal in the last 11 meetings.
Iginla, drafted by Dallas in the first round in 1995, has seven goals and 10 assists in 39 career games against the Stars.
Also struggling for Calgary is left wing Kristian Huselius, who is second on the team in goals (21) and points (49) despite picking up only one goal and one assist in his last eight games.
One forward who has contributed during Iginla's slump is Owen Nolan, who recorded his 11th career hat trick and first since Oct. 4, 1999, in a 5-4 victory over San Jose on Wednesday.
"I was telling the guys in warmup I felt like I was 31 again,'' said Nolan, who has five goals in his last six games. "It was fun tonight.''
Nolan also proved again that he was still capable of playing physical hockey, as he got into a spirited fight with Mike Grier and earned his second fighting major in three games.
"He (Nolan) was a real leader for us tonight. He was very vocal on the bench, very strong on the ice in all areas - offensively, killing penalties,'' coach Mike Keenan said. "He's an experienced player who steps up in big games, and tonight's an example of his leadership.''
Calgary's surge has moved it into second place in the Northwest Division, one point behind Minnesota.
Dallas looks to complete a perfect three-game trip through western Canada following a 4-1 victory over Edmonton on Friday.
Brenden Morrow had a goal and an assist, and Marty Turco made 32 saves for the Stars, who have won five of seven to take over sole possession of first place in the Pacific.
Dallas was outshot 17-5 in the opening period, but escaped down only 1-0.
"After that first period you would have thought that it would be a struggle for us to get points but we found a way,'' coach Dave Tippett said.
Turco has been outstanding lately, going 4-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average in his last five starts. Despite his stellar play, though, Turco could find himself on the bench Saturday with games on consecutive nights.
Jere Lehtinen was back in the Stars' lineup Friday after missing 33 games due to sports hernia surgery. Lehtinen's return adds even more depth to a team that already features seven players in double figures in goals.
The Stars are 1-0-1 this season against the Flames, including a 3-2 victory at Calgary on Dec. 21. Dallas is 3-0-1 in the past four meetings, but each of the last 10 games between the teams have been decided by two goals or fewer.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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