Coming off their biggest offensive eruption in nearly eight years, the surging Calgary Flames take aim at the fourth consecutive victory when they host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. The Pacific Division-leading Flames are riding a five-game point streak (4-0-1) and capped off their latest victory with a nine-goal eruption in a victory at Columbus.
Calgary erased an early three-goal deficit by scoring five times in one period for the fourth time this season -- more than all the other league teams combined. "The guys are maturing, the young guys especially," Flames head coach Bill Peters said after the 9-6 win. "The leaders do a good job leading and we don't feel like we're ever out of a game. The Wild were heading in the opposite direction of Calgary before snapping a season-worst three-game slide with a 3-2 victory at Vancouver on Tuesday night. Minnesota is 7-3-1 against Pacific Division opponents this season but has won only two of the last seven matchups against the Flames.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), Sportsnet West (Calgary)
ABOUT THE WILD (15-10-2): Devan Dubynk was in net for each of the past three losses and had allowed at least four goals in four straight starts before turning aside 29 of 31 shots against Vancouver to halt his slump. "That was an important game for him," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It could have gone south for him when the first shot on net goes in, everybody is looking to the stars. But he hung in there, and mental toughness for him, and battled his way through." Forward Jason Zucker has goals in back-to-back games but has only four points in 14 matchups against Calgary.
ABOUT THE FLAMES (17-9-2): Calgary's outburst was fueled by its top two scorers as linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had two goals and two assists each to boost their respective point totals to 35 and 33. Gaudreau, who is riding a five-game point streak, has been on a tear with six goals and nine assists over the last eight contests and has two tallies and nine points in 11 career matchups against Minnesota. Monahan, who matched his career high by scoring 31 times last season, has goals in three straight games and eight tallies in the last nine contests to give him 17.
1. Flames F Matthew Tkachuk has six goals and 13 points in the last 10 games.
2. Minnesota has 11 power-play goals in its last 10 games after converting three times Tuesday.
3. The Flames are 9-0-0 this season when Monahan notches at least two points in a game.
PREDICTION: Flames 4, Wild 3 Bet Now
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