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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flames' playoff hopes still flickering

Players still believe, or so they say

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CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames insist the playoffs are still in their reach -- even if they have to win all five remaining games.

That quest continues today at the Scotiabank Saddledome where the Flames (35-27-15) host the Los Angeles Kings (37-27-12), who are coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss in Vancouver on Monday.

"As bad as our situation was a couple days ago, you look at it and if we do get some help and if we do win (today) we might be inside (the playoff picture)," forward Alex Tanguay said Tuesday. "It's an important game and we're all anxious to get going."

After going 0-2-3 in its previous five games, Calgary responded with a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Dallas on Monday to pull within two points of the Stars and Phoenix Coyotes for the seventh and eighth spots in the Western Conference.

Of course, Los Angeles and Colorado also have to be passed. They sit one point ahead of Calgary.

Tanguay scored the winner Monday to break a five-game goalless drought.

Defenceman Mark Giordano, who contributed a power-play goal and an assist against Dallas, said the Flames took a bit of time to enjoy the win before switching their focus to the Kings.

"Us and L.A. are in similar positions right now so we have to get that intensity and aggression right back up," said Giordano. "You know that their intensity level and their emotion is going to be there because we're both fighting for the same thing.

"There's going to be two desperate teams and hopefully we can continue to play with that confidence that we can keep this going -- this good feeling."

After scoring against Dallas for the first time in 16 games, forward Blake Comeau talked about how important it is for the Flames to keep that momentum going when they face the Kings.

"Obviously we know that they're a point ahead of us and that we're chasing them," Comeau said. "We know that they're going to come out hard and be ready to play. We have to match and exceed that."

Olli Jokinen also broke out of a lengthy scoring slump against Dallas, registering his first point in eight games. The veteran forward says the Flames don't care if others have counted them out.

"The players in that room, we believe we can still get in and that's all that matters," said Jokinen.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 28, 2012 C2

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