(SportsNetwork.com) – The Calgary Flames hope to shake off a recent lopsided
loss when they visit the Florida Panthers for Saturday’s matinee at BB&T
The Flames had won three straight and the first two tests on a five-game road
trip before getting slammed 5-2 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cedric Paquette
scored the first two goals of his NHL career to lead the Bolts to Thursday’s
easy victory at Amalie Arena.
Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan scored in Calgary’s first loss in four games. The
Flames also had a four-game point streak (3-0-1) halted, suffering their first
regulation setback since losing 3-1 to Washington on Oct. 25.
Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller also had a streak end. He gave up four goals on
32 shots and suffered his first regulation loss in his last eight appearances
“I think we were forcing things,” Flames defenseman Mark Giordano said. “They
Calgary aims to bounce back today when it shoots for a seventh win in 10
meetings with the Panthers. The Flames have claimed two straight in the series
overall and have won three of the past four encounters in Florida.
The Panthers enter Saturday on a two-game slide having lost both tilts on a
brief road trip. Florida earned a point in Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime defeat
versus Boston, but lost 4-1 in Thursday’s game at Philadelphia.
Four different Flyers scored goals against the Panthers, while Steve Mason
stopped 34-of-35 shots for the win. Philadelphia earned a bit of revenge after
losing a 2-1 decision in Florida last Saturday.
Nick Bjugstad provided the sole marker for the Panthers on Thursday. His tally
cut the deficit to 3-1 midway through the second period, but Jakub Voracek
answered just 39 seconds later for the Flyers.
“You score and kind of get back into a game, and they answer right back,”
Panthers center Rocco Grimaldi said. “Their crowd jumped back to life. It’s a
tough thing, but something we’ve got to bounce back from.”
Roberto Luongo, who made 36 saves in last week’s win over Philly, allowed all
four goals on 30 shots in Thursday’s defeat.
Luongo has started 10 of Florida’s 11 games over backup Al Montoya this season
and he could get the call again on Saturday. In 42 career games against
Calgary — all starts — Luongo is 25-13-3 with a 2.44 goals against average.
Although Hiller is 4-0 with a 1.25 GAA in his career versus the Panthers,
backup Karri Ramo will get the start on Saturday. Ramo is 2-1-0 with a 2.28
GAA in three lifetime starts against Florida.