FGD Round 1, Game 3: Home Sweet Home

Just 48 hours after they allowed them to tie the series at one win apiece, the Calgary Flames head home to the Scotiabank Saddledome to host the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The Canucks have come out of the gates quickly in the first two games. Calgary was able to weather the storm in Game 1 and keep things close, but the Canucks adjusted well in Game 2. The Flames will have to do their best to not get buried underneath scoring chances in the opening frame.

The series is very much up for grabs, but after Friday’s chaotic finish, it’s up to the Flames to show the hockey world that they aren’t a one-hit/one-game wonder, and that they do belong in the post-season with the big boys. If you look at the remainder of the games as a best-of-five, then Calgary has home ice.

That’s probably the best they could reasonably hope for.

Puck drop is after 8pm MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan for Calgary’s first home playoff game since April 27, 2009!

THE FLAMES

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

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Only a skeleton crew skated yesterday, but based on what little intel we have, since there are no suspensions and no significant injuries to speak of it sounds like we’re getting the exact same roster as in Games 1 and 2. That means Jonas Hiller gets his third start of the series after getting briefly yanked in Game 2, likely for momentum reasons. Hiller hasn’t stolen any games yet, but he also hasn’t given any away.

With no suspensions, your extra bodies tonight are Jon Gillies, Tyler Wotherspoon, Mason Raymond and Drew Shore. Mark Giordano, Paul Byron, Lance Bouma, Ladislav Smid and Raphael Diaz remain out.

The key for the Flames? Don’t get behind the eight-ball. The Flames do have the benefit of last change, and I suspect Bob Hartley will move heaven and Earth to (a) isolate the Sedins with some tough opposition and (b) give the top line as much time and space as humanly possible. The Canucks have done a great job keeping Monahan, Gaudreau and Hudler off the scoresheet. It’s imperative that Calgary figures out a way to do some damage at home.

THE CANUCKS

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

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No chances expected for the Canucks, so we’ll see Eddie Lack again and have Ryan Stanton, Brandon McMillan, Linden Vey and the injured Zack Kassian as extras.

Vancouver will simply try to do what’s it’s done all series: get chances and pressure early, score first, and try to win from the front. The challenge here will be for them to deal with Calgary having choice of match-ups, as well as the guaranteed-to-be-hostile crowd. If Vancouver can get up early and take the crowd out of it, that’d be helpful for them.

But you better believe after their flat performance early in Game 2, the Flames will be en fuego early on and looking to do some damage in front of their home crowd.

THE NUMBERS

Calgary Vancouver
Wins 1 1
Power Play 33.3% 14.3%
Penalty Kill 85.7% 66.7%
Corsi 47.5% 52.5%
Corsi Close 47.1% 52.9%
Faceoffs 48.1% 51.9%
PDO 98.6 101.4

SUM IT UP

Just win, baby.

It would be a rough draw for them to go into Game 4 trailing and needing a win to draw even heading back to Vancouver. If the Flames want to get back into the driver’s seat, they need to dig deep and find a way to win.