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Flames host Capitals for first time in two years

The Sports Network

10/30/2010 11:58:39 AM

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will visit the Calgary Flames for the first time in over two years as the two clubs clash tonight at the Saddledome.

These two clubs haven't met in Calgary since the Flames notched a 2-1 win on Oct. 21, 2008 to snap an eight-game overall and four-game series home winless streak. Calgary made it two wins in a row in this series with last year's 5-3 triumph at Washington.

The Flames had a three-game winning streak halted on Thursday with a 6-5 loss to the visiting Avalanche. Alex Tanguay tied the game with 5:35 to play, but Colorado's Daniel Winnik notched the game-winner with 2:20 remaining in regulation.

Niklas Hagman, Olli Jokinen and Matt Stajan each had a goal and an assist, while backup netminder Henrik Karlsson gave up six goals on 36 shots.

"We stuck with the program for the first 36 minutes, then we started getting away from why we're good," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said.

The Flames fell to 2-1 on a five-game homestand.

No. 1 goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff should get the nod tonight and is 2-2-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average in his career when facing the Capitals.

Washington will look to rebound tonight after having a two-game win streak end with Thursday's 2-1 loss in Minnesota. Michal Neuvirth made 15 saves and Alex Ovechkin snapped a five-game goal drought with a late tally in the third.

That goal helped the Capitals avoid being shutout for the first time in 61 regular-season games.

"We know what makes this team successful," said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau. "It isn't going diagonal passes through the neutral zone. We've got a big, strong team, big forwards, and our success has been winning battles below the circles. That's what we did last night so successfully. Tonight we decided we wanted to be fancy. Can't be fancy in this league."

Neuvirth is 6-3-0 with a 2.17 GAA this season and has never before faced the Flames.