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Red Wings Go For Season Sweep Over Flames

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings go for a sweep of their season series with the Calgary Flames this evening when the two teams clash at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Red Wings have scored 11 goals in taking their first three meetings with the Flames this year, running their overall series winning streak to four games. Detroit has also won three in a row at Calgary.

Detroit veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom had the game-winning goal in overtime when the two teams last met, a 5-4 triumph in Motown on Nov. 21, giving him a pair of goals and three assists in the three meetings this. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice in the victory and has three goals versus the Flames this year.

Both skaters carry eight-game point streaks into tonight's contest after extending those runs in Tuesday's 5-3 victory over Edmonton. Zetterberg (5 goals, 7 assists) scored and Lidstrom (4g, 9a) notched a pair of assists, while forward Todd Bertuzzi scored twice for his first goals since Dec. 4.

"It's not fun when you go 15 games without a goal, but you just keep battling and try to be better in different areas and keep working it," said Bertuzzi, who posted his first multi-goal game since Dec. 26, 2009.

Detroit opened up a five-game road trip by snapping a two-game slide and improving to 5-2-2 over its last nine games. The Red Wings, who lead the Central Division by seven points, have also won four straight on the road and trail Vancouver by a pair of points for the most in the NHL.

Patrick Eaves missed his third straight game with an elbow injury, but could return tonight. He could offset the potential loss of Valtteri Filppula, who is questionable due to a groin injury.

Chris Osgood made 22 saves in Tuesday's victory, but Jimmy Howard will get the start tonight. Tied for the NHL lead with 20 wins, Howard has been in net for all three wins over the Flames this year and is 4-2-0 with a 2.35 goals- against average versus them lifetime.

The Flames hope to avoid a third straight loss tonight on the heels of winning four in a row and were bested by the Canucks, 3-1, on Wednesday. Miikka Kiprusoff made 18 saves and Tim Jackman prevented the shutout by scoring with just 11 seconds remaining.

Veteran forward Niklas Hagman was a healthy scratch for the Flames as 21-year- old Mikael Backlund returned to Calgary's lineup for the first time since Dec. 18 and had an assist. Hagman has eight goals and nine assists in 40 games this year, but no points in his last eight.

Hagman did score in the last meeting with Detroit, while Jarome Iginla had two goals and an assist in that loss to give him three goals and eight points in his last six when facing the Red Wings.

Kiprusoff has been in net for each contest of Calgary's current four-game slide to Detroit, posting a 3.25 GAA.

Calgary will get a bit of a breather after this game as it won't play again until kicking off a four-game road trip on Tuesday.