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Struggling Flames host Wild in Northwest Division battle

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The Sports Network
2/23/2013 11:36:54 AM
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(Sports Network) - The struggling Calgary Flames look for an offensive boost when they host the Minnesota Wild in a Northwest Division battle on Saturday night.

Calgary, which is 14th in the Western Conference standings, has lost its last two games in regulation and managed a total of one goal over those contests.

The Flames were dealt a 4-0 loss Monday at Phoenix and then opened a three- game homestand on Wednesday with a 3-1 setback to the Los Angeles Kings. T.J. Brodie scored the lone goal of the game for the Flames, who have dropped three of their last four games. Joey MacDonald gave up all three goals on 33 shots in the loss.

"On Friday, we're going to be working on defensive zone coverage," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "We need to find a way to be a more responsible team in our own zone."

The Flames are 2-5-2 as the host this season and will complete their homestand Sunday against Phoenix.

The Wild will aim for their first three-game winning streak of the season tonight.

Minnesota, which has a 4-1-1 record over its last six games, has posted consecutive victories against Detroit and Edmonton to record its fourth two- game winning streak of the season.

Matt Cullen scored twice and also added an assist in Thursday's 3-1 win at Edmonton. Devin Setoguchi scored the go-ahead goal early in the final frame, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 27 shots in the win.

After a scoreless first frame, Edmonton opened the scoring at the 12:26 mark of the second when Ryan Smyth beat Backstrom on a wraparound. It was all Minnesota from there, however, as the Wild scored three unanswered goals to take control.

"A great response and a great job by our guys sticking with our game," Wild coach Mike Yeo said of his team battling back from a goal down.

Things got a bit chippy late in the contest when Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck took a vicious knee-to-knee hit from Edmonton forward Taylor Hall near the red line. Hall received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Clutterbuck was unable to put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the ice, where a stretcher was waiting for him just beyond the end boards.

Clutterbuck missed practice on Friday, but appears to have escaped serious injury with what is being called a thigh contusion. He is expected to miss Saturday's game and there is no timetable for his return.

Hall was suspended two games by the NHL for the hit.

Thursday's win was just the second on the road this season for the Wild, who are 2-4-1 as the guest.

The Wild posted a 2-1 shootout win in Calgary on Feb. 11 and have won six of the last 10 meetings in this series. Minnesota has four victories in its last six trips to the Saddledome.

Matt Stajan (Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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