04/22/2015 06:51 EDT | Updated 06/23/2015 05:59 EDT

Calgary Flames Head To Vancouver, Sights Set On Fourth Win

The Flames lead the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final three games to one.

CALGARY - The Calgary Flames head to Vancouver with a magic number in mind.

"We need four. We need four," head coach Bob Hartley said.

That's four wins, which the Flames are one away from heading into Game 5 on Thursday against the Canucks.

The Flames lead the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final three games to one. Calgary has three opportunities to get No. 4 and close out the series.

After splitting the first two games of the series in Vancouver, Calgary wrested home-ice advantage away from the Canucks with back-to-back wins at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Game 6, if necessary, would be Saturday in Calgary and if the series goes to a Game 7, it concludes Monday in Vancouver.

The last time the Flames advanced beyond the first round of playoffs was in 2004 en route the Stanley Cup final, where they lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Calgary has momentum after what assistant captain Dennis Wideman says was their best performance of the series in Game 4 to win 3-1.

In addition to goals scored, the Flames were the superior team in blocked shots, faceoffs won, takeaways, hits and special teams.

The Canucks looked worn down and didn't engage in the sending-a-message belligerence they did at the end of Games 2 and Games 3.

A return to Rogers Arena could inflate their tires Thursday. No team wants to be an easy out.

"We've put ourselves in a good position, but good position doesn't give you any rights right now," Hartley said Wednesday. "The advantages in the playoffs, gosh, it's just a matter of momentum. We all know momentum can switch real quickly.

"We've been very opportunistic. That's the difference in this series right now."

The Canucks confirmed Wednesday that forward Alex Burrows is out for the series with an upper-body injury he suffered in the morning skate before Game 4 in Calgary.

There's also intrigue over whether Vancouver will start Ryan Miller or Eddie Lack on Thursday. Lack was pulled after one period in which he gave up three goals on sevens shots. Miller had a two-period shutout in relief.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau's statisticians, teams leading 3-1 in a best-of-seven win the series 90.2 per cent of the time (249-27).

Calgary's top line of Jiri Hudler, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, the playoff splash of 18-year-old forward Sam Bennett and the emergence of power forward Michael Ferland as a punishing deterrent have been the storylines of this series for the Flames.

But it's been Calgary's forecheck and defensive control of the middle lanes that has kept Vancouver's offence — including star forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin — at bay. Each has scored one goal in four games.

The Flames forecheckers have harried Canucks defencemen into moving the puck faster than they like. The Canucks outshot the Flames in Game 4 and in the first two periods in Game 3, but the Flames have limited what Hartley calls "Grade A" chances.

"You're trying to keep everything to the outside and clog up the middle as much as possible," Wideman said. "Obviously the best chance of scoring is in the slot and that's something we've been working on all year, to try and limit those chances."

Calgary's power-play ranked in the bottom third of the league earlier in the season, but picked up steam towards the post-season.

It was the difference in Game 4 as the Flames scored two against a penalty kill that ranked No. 2 in the league in the regular season. That Hudler and Gaudreau scored them for their first of the series was emotional lift for the Flames as well.

"The first few games, our power play wasn't clicking the way we wanted it," Gaudreau said. "We did a ton of video the past two or three days and tried to figure out what would work a little bit better. Right now, everything's clicking."

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