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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, November 7th (All times Eastern)

Calgary Flames (6-7-2) at St. Louis Blues (9-2-2), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie goaltender Reto Berra got the Calgary Flames off to a good start on what figured to be a very tough road trip, but the 26-year- old Swiss came back down to Earth a bit last time out.

Berra will get another chance on Thursday night against the team that drafted him as the Flames continue their four-game swing versus the St. Louis Blues.

Berra was a fourth-round selection by the Blues in 2006 and was dealt to the Flames on April 1 as part of the package that landed St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. With Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald both struggling, Berra made his NHL debut on Sunday, making 42 saves in a win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Head coach Bob Hartley gave Berra another start on Tuesday in Minnesota, but the netminder was tagged for five goals on 24 shots in a 5-1 setback.

Hartley, though, took his goaltender off the hook for his performance and will give him a third straight start tonight.

"The goals they scored, you could have taped Patrick Roy, (Ed) Belfour and (Martin) Brodeur together and we wouldn't have won the game. They were so much better than us. They deserved the two points," said Hartley.

Jiri Hudler scored his sixth goal of the season and defenseman Chad Billins picked up an assist in his NHL debut, but the Flames lost for the third time in four games and for the seventh time in their last 10.

The Flames will wrap their swing on Friday night in Colorado and won't have forward Curtis Glencross for the last two games of the trek after he suffered a lower-body injury versus the Wild.

The Blues are set to begin a five-game homestand tonight and picked up their fourth win in five games on Tuesday with a 3-2 shootout victory in Montreal. Jaroslav Halak stopped a penalty shot against his former team with 48.9 seconds left in regulation and all three Canadiens skaters failed to score on him in the tiebreaker.

T.J. Oshie had the lone shootout tally, while Alexander Steen netted his NHL- leading 13th goal of the season. Chris Stewart added a goal and Halak ended with 25 saves.

Despite the victory, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said it felt like three different games.

"We were so much better in the first period," he said. "Montreal started coming at us in the second. We were frustrated by it, but in the third period it was a perfect split. They played better than us early and we were better than them late."

St. Louis, 5-1-1 as the host this season, is expected to have Brian Elliott in net tonight. It will mark his third start of the season and he is 3-3-0 in his career versus the Flames despite a 1.76 goals against average and one shutout.

The Blues have won five of their last seven versus the Flames, taking three in a row at home.

11/07 10:53:02 ET

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