NHL

Flames-Senators Preview

Having shown they can overcome Mark Giordano's absence, the Calgary Flames have a chance at a splendid finish to their longest road trip of the season.

The Flames, though, will have to face surging Ottawa to close that seven-game trek.

The Senators' Craig Anderson could return to the net for the first time in more than six weeks and give a red-hot Andrew Hammond a break as the team seeks its longest point streak in three seasons Sunday night.

Calgary's playoff hopes appeared to take a severe hit last week when it lost Giordano, one of the league's top-scoring defenseman with 48 points, for the rest of the season because of a torn biceps. The Flames lost their first game without him but have come back to win three in a row, and they rallied from an early two-goal deficit Friday for a 5-2 win over Detroit.

"Everybody turned on us, saying we don't have a chance. It's been like that all year, and when you lose your best player, it's even more of a challenge," said forward Matt Stajan, who scored a goal after missing five games for the birth of his child. "We're up against it all the time. We know that, and we want to prove people wrong."

Jiri Hudler scored twice against his former team, giving him four goals and two assists in the win streak, and Sean Monahan stayed hot with a goal and an assist. Monahan has scored in each of the three consecutive wins, and he has seven goals and five assists in his past 10 contests.

Calgary (36-25-4) has won four of six on this trip and enters the finale looking to match its longest winning streak of the season, but will take on a Senators team that's 7-0-1 in its last eight. Ottawa (29-23-11) also has won a season-high three straight at home.

The Senators, five points behind Boston for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot, will try to give themselves a boost in that race by recording their first nine-game point streak since Dec. 30, 2011-Jan. 14, 2012.

Much of Ottawa's recent success has been thanks to a rookie sensation known as "The Hamburglar." Hammond has a 1.24 goals-against average while starting each of the last eight games and kept Buffalo scoreless in the final two periods in a 3-2 comeback win Friday.

Anderson hasn't played for Ottawa since Jan. 21 because of a hand injury, but coach Dave Cameron said Saturday that he's hoping to get him back on the ice soon. The Senators are in a stretch of playing 12 games in 21 days and have four in the next six days.

"At some point, Andy has to play here. Our schedule is crazy. It's too much for one goalie," Cameron said. "(Hammond has) been exceptional. Everybody knows that, but we need another goalie based on the schedule."

Anderson was also playing well before getting hurt, going 7-3-3 with a 2.03 GAA in his last 13 starts. He remains among the league leaders with a .927 save percentage.

One of his worst games of the season came against the Flames, allowing all of their goals in a 4-2 defeat Nov. 15.

Karri Ramo made 23 saves to win that game after previously going 0-3-1 with a 4.11 GAA against the Senators. He's been impressive on the road trip with a .952 save percentage.

Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad, who scored the tying goal Friday, is riding a career-high six-game point streak.

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