The Florida Panthers had their momentum halted on a season-high road swing, but they can still wrap up a winning trip against a Calgary Flames team can't seem to end its losing ways at home.
The Panthers hope to bounce back with their fourth win in six games Friday night when they try to deal the Flames a seventh straight home loss.
Following a nine-game losing streak, Florida (6-13-4) had won three of four - including two in a row for the first time all season - before a 4-1 loss at Western Conference-worst Edmonton on Thursday.
Scottie Upshall had the lone goal for the Panthers, who are tied with the Oilers for the second-fewest points in the league. They are 3-4-0 under interim coach Peter Horachek, who took over for the fired Kevin Dineen after a 3-9-4 start.
'The key was the energy, we didn't have any,' Horachek said. 'That's the key to the game, if your energy is better and you go out with a workman attitude, everything improves, the whole game improves from our standpoint."
Tim Thomas shined with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage while starting all four games during the team's 3-1-0 stretch. But after allowing three goals on 34 shots against the Oilers, Thomas could give way to backup Scott Clemmensen in the second of back-to-back games.
Clemmensen, who hasn't played since a 4-1 loss at Boston on Nov. 7, is 0-1-1 with a 3.09 GAA in three appearances. If he gets the nod, Clemmensen figures to have a favorable matchup against a Calgary team that has totaled 13 goals while going 0-4-2 in its last six home games.
The Flames (7-11-4) have never lost seven consecutive home games within a single season. A loss Friday would make them winless in seven straight at home for the first time since going 0-4-2 with four ties Oct. 21-Dec. 4, 2000.
Joe Colborne scored Calgary's only goal Wednesday in a 2-1 overtime loss to visiting Columbus.
'The bottom line is it's pretty tough to win when you only have one line going," said coach Bob Hartley after his team was limited to 24 shots against the Blue Jackets.
Michael Cammalleri, Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler have a combined 24 goals for the Flames, but they've totaled three during the home skid. While the 19-year-old Monahan is in his rookie season, veterans Cammalleri and Hudler also have scored only once over their last combined 13 games against the Panthers.
Calgary made a move toward the future Thursday when they shipped right wing Tim Jackman to Anaheim for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft. Jackman had one goal and 41 penalty minutes in 10 games with the Flames.
First-year goalie Reto Berra turned aside 16 of 18 shots Wednesday, falling to 0-2-2 with a 3.42 GAA in four home starts.
The Flames will have to keep an eye on Florida's leading goal-scorer Brad Boyes, who has three goals and an assist in his last five games. Boyes, however, has no goals in his last nine games against Calgary.
Second-year winger Jonathan Huberdeau has two goals and an assist during this 3-2-0 stretch. He also provided the only shootout goal in a 3-2 win at Vancouver on Tuesday.
The Panthers have won three of four meetings, though they'll make their first trip to Calgary since Oct. 14, 2010.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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