The Calgary Flames (15-8-2) meet up with the Arizona Coyotes (10-12-3) tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
It’ll be their second meeting in four days – part of a home and home series between the Flames and the team from Phoenix – though the Coyotes had a stop-over in Edmonton to play the Oilers in-between games. The Coyotes won 5-2 by way of a special teams bonanza (two short-handed goals and a power-play goal) in the second period.
And after yet another successful road trip – the Flames have gone over .500 on every single trek they’ve taken – the Flames are trying to continue their steady play.
The puck drops at 7pm MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
The locals are fresh off a three game road trip and two days with no games, a rarity that will soon disappear with the frantic December schedule. They’re 7-3-0 in their last 10 games – only Chicago, Nashville and the Islanders have won more games recently – and continue their improbable run.
Lines, via your best pals at Daily Faceoff.
Note: SMID IS IN, DIAZ IS NOT.
Karri Ramo gets his third straight start. He’s gone on an impressive run – he hasn’t allowed a goal since allowing a goal mid-way through the third period against New Jersey. That’s two full games, half a third period (and an overtime). He’s 6-2-1 with a 2.28 goals against average and .919 save percentage.
Other than Smid back in for Diaz, no real line-up changes. Matt Stajan and Mason Raymond skated with the team today – and a bit more after morning skate – but are obviously a bit away from making their returns.
Arizona won last night. In Edmonton. You may have heard.
They scored three goals in a really short span – shorties by Tobias Reider at 0:36 and 1:34 of the second, followed by a power-play marker by Oliver Ekman-Larsson at 4:53 – completely sunk the Oilers and put the Coyotes in the driver’s seat.
Lines from last night, and presumably for tonight, via Daily Faceoff:
Mike Smith got the start last night,
so presumably Devan Dubnyk (5-1-1, 2.43 goals against average, .922 save percentage) gets the start. He last played against Calgary and lost 3-0 on Saturday night. (UPDATE: Dubnyk was skating this morning at the ‘Dome, so presumably Mike Smith starts instead. Dubnyk was so-so against Calgary, so starting Smith back-to-back does make some sense.)
Otherwise, no changes projected, outside of presumably Chris Summers coming in to play for the (presumably) injured Connor Murphy, who left the game last night in the second with an injury. The Coyotes, despite their win last night, are still sub-.500 and floating around the .500 mark over their last 10 games. They have a speedy team with some talented players, but for some reason they just aren’t executing the way they need to in order to compete in the West.
SUM IT UP
It’ll be interesting to see how both teams approach this. The Flames no doubt feel like they have Arizona’s number after that decisive 3-0 win in the desert on the weekend. The Coyotes probably feel pretty good about themselves after beating Edmonton last night. But will they be flat after playing and traveling? Will the Flames have a good first period push after a couple nights sleep in their own beds?
And can the Flames continue their consistent play for another few games, at least?
It’ll be an interesting game as the Flames begin a home-stand that includes visits from Jarome Iginla’s Colorado Avalanche (on Thursday) and the San Jose Sharks (on Saturday).