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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 8th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (22-28-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (29-23-6), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to head into the Olympic break by matching their longest winning streak of the season as they host the Calgary Flames in Saturday's matinee battle at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have won three straight and four of their last five games. The club recently won the final two tests on a three-game tour of California and returned home to post Thursday's 3-1 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche.
Philadelphia enters Saturday -- the final day of action before the league goes on hiatus for the Winter Olympics -- holding onto third place in the Metropolitan Division with a one-point lead over Columbus. The top three teams in each division earn an automatic berth in the playoffs.
Steve Mason turned away 38 shots to lead the Flyers to Thursday's win over the visiting Avalanche. Mason, who is 4-1-0 with a pair of shutouts over his last five outings, could get a seventh straight start tonight despite battling cramps in the latter part of the win against Colorado.
"It started in the second period and just got progressively worse as the third period went on," Mason said of the cramping issues. "You just clock watch more than anything and you're just looking for a stoppage to calm down and slow your breathing down to slow the rate of the cramping. It was a long third period."
Mark Streit and Michael Raffl scored a goal apiece and Claude Giroux added an empty netter on Thursday for the Flyers. Sean Couturier registered two assists in the win.
Philadelphia's only four-game winning streak of the season came from Dec. 23-31 and the Flyers picked up win No. 4 of that hot stretch against the Flames.
The Flyers recorded a 4-1 win in Calgary on Dec. 31. as Brayden Schenn notched a goal and two assists and backup Ray Emery stopped 23-of-24 shots. Philly has won two straight and three of its past four games against Calgary and holds a 5-1-1 mark over the last seven encounters.
Calgary, however, has won two in a row and four of its last five tests in Philly and the club enters Saturday's matchup having won six of its past seven games.
The Flames have been playing their best hockey of the season during their recent 6-1-0 stretch. Calgary had a season-high five-game winning streak halted when it opened a three-game road trip Tuesday in Montreal, but it rebounded from that 2-0 loss to the Habs with Thursday's 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
David Jones notched the game-winner with 5:32 left in the third to help the Flames pick up the win at Nassau Coliseum. With the game tied 2-2 late in the final frame, a shot from Matt Stajan hit off Jones.
Mikael Backlund then buried an empty-netter in the closing seconds to account for the final margin.
Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman each scored once, while Reto Berra registered 28 saves for Calgary, which snapped a four-game road losing streak and is now 10-14-4 as the guest this season.
"Reto was simply outstanding," Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said of his netminder. "He was the guy that kept us in the game and gave us a chance to come back."
Despite its recent hot play, the Flames enter Saturday 13 points out of the last playoff spot in the West.
Calgary's first game after the Olympic break is a home game on Feb. 27 against Los Angeles.
02/08 10:21:36 ET