SENATORS (37-25-5) at FLAMES (33-24-9)
Last 10 — Ottawa 5-4-1; Calgary 6-3-1.
Season series — The teams are meeting for the second and final time this season. On Feb. 9, the Senators held off the Flames 3-2 at Scotiabank Place. Jason Spezza's goal late in the second period made the difference as the Senators won for the 12th time in 13 games. The victory ended a five-game drought against the Flames.
Big story — Calgary's playoff hopes appeared to be on life support a week ago after a 4-0 home loss to Minnesota, but the Flames have rebounded with three consecutive wins, including a huge 4-2 victory at Detroit on Tuesday. The big change has been a sudden surge of offence — the Flames scored 14 goals in the three wins. They'll hope to continue the offensive outburst against an Ottawa team that ended a three-game slide with a 4-1 win at Edmonton on Tuesday, but hasn't played well since the Olympic break.
Senators — Ottawa won 14 of 16 before the Olympics, but was just 0-2-1 in its first three games after the Games before scoring three times in the third period to win at Edmonton on Tuesday. The three-goal third period matched Ottawa's entire output during its three-game slide.
"We didn't play well the first two games after the Olympics, but we had a gutsy effort to build from in our last one (against Toronto) with a bunch of guys sick," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, who missed Saturday's game with the flu before matching a season high with three assists against the Oilers.
Flames — The Flames' new No. 1 line of Jarome Iginla, Matt Stajan and Rene Bourque has been sizzling. The trio has combined for 18 points in the three games it's been together — and not coincidentally, the Flames have won all three, including the victory at Detroit on Tuesday that put the Flames back into eighth place in the West.
"It's been great — we've won all three games," Stajan told the Flames' website. "That's what you look for. It doesn't matter who scores, we're just looking for wins. We know, as a line, we've got to make sure we do our part. Right now we're clicking and we'll keep working hard and hopefully that chemistry keep building."
Who's hot — Ottawa goaltender Brian Elliott, who beat the Flames last month, is 13-3-0 in his last 16 games with a 2.15 goals-against average. He gets the start tonight … Iginla has four goals and seven points in the Flames' last three games. He now has 31 goals, the ninth consecutive season in which he's had 30 or more.
Injury report — The Senators have been devastated by the flu, though Alfredsson was able to return on Tuesday. Defenceman Filip Kuba is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Forward Nick Foligno (broken leg) and defenceman Chris Campoli (knee) are on injured reserve … The Flames are as healthy as a team can be with exactly a month to go in the season.
Stat pack — Bourque, who's one goal shy of matching his career-high of 21, had a hat trick the last time the Senators came to the Pengrowth Saddledome. Calgary won that game 6-3 on Dec. 27, 2008 … The loss to the Senators in February was the first for Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in six career decisions.
Puck drop — Ottawa's hot streak has the Senators solidly in the top eight in the East and challenging Buffalo for the Northeast Division title. The Flames are more desperate — they enter the game leading Detroit by a point for the final playoff berth in the West. Calgary needs its new top line to continue putting goals on the board to keep ahead of a pack of teams nipping at its heels.