FGD #17: Road Trip Finale in Raleigh (5pm MT; Sportsnet West)

Standing tall with a 9-5-2 record and a sterling 7-3-0 road record, the Calgary Flames will complete their second big road trip of the season tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes (4-6-3).

The ‘Canes got a whuppin’ from the Flames in Calgary last month by a 5-0 score, but since then they have gone 4-2-1. They lost their next two games on their western swing, then have gone undefeated in regulation in games against Arizona, Los Angeles, Columbus (twice) and Washington.

The Flames? Since crushing the Canes, they’ve gone – hilariously – also 4-2-1. But the Canes needed those wins a lot more than Calgary.

Tonight’s game goes at 5pm and can be found on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

They’ve won three of four on this road trip, and the Flames can hit the 10-win plateau tonight with a win against the Hurricanes. Devin Setoguchi had an injury in Florida but is good to go tonight, but Sven Baertschi has the flu, so the team called up Max Reinhart (rather than slot in Brian McGrattan).

Lines, via Daily Faceoff!

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Five drafted forwards and a drafted D-man! It’s like the team has figured out development or something. (I’d bet on “or something,” but I’m a pessimist). After giving up four goals and getting yanked against Florida, Karri Ramo returns to his old spot on the bench while Jonas Hiller gets his 11th start of the season. He’s 7-3-1 with a 2.07 goals against average and a .931 save percentage (.943 even-strength).

Also, Flames captain Mark Giordano was named the NHL’s First Star of the week because he was super-awesome. Giordano leads the Flames in scoring with 18 points in 16 games, while that slacker T.J. Brodie “only” has 14 points. Step your game up, T.J. Pint-sized phenom Johnny Gaudreau has 12 points in 15 games, which is just fine for a rookie but quite impressive for one of his size.

THE HURRICANES

Lines for tonight, per Daily Faceoff!

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We saw the Hurricanes awhile back. They still lack scoring. Riley Nash is their leading scorer with 10 points. Alex Semin’s numbers are primarily due to crappy PDO, but he’s also living down to his PDO expectations. The Canes are getting healthier, which is good because they probably couldn’t have gotten much worse, but they’re still a team with deficiencies.

In goal tonight is reportedly Cam Ward: 4-3-1, 3.07 goals against average and .894 save percentage (.895 even-strength).

ELSEWHERE

Morgan Klimchuk represents Team WHL and Rushan Rafikov represents Team Russia in the first game of the Subway Super Series in Saskatoon at 5pm MT. Unfortunately, there’s wrestling on Sportsnet 360, basketball on Sportsnet One and the Flames are on Sportsnet West, so unless you get the not-in-the-west Sportsnet regional channels, you can’t see the game.

SUM IT UP

The Flames are one of the NHL’s best road teams, despite being one of its worst road teams in past years. Life’s strange like that. They close out their second big road trip of the year tonight, and can get their 10th win of the year against a team they’ve already beaten like a drum back in Calgary last month.