FGD Round 2, Game 5: The Last Stand? (8pm MT, SN West)

Well, it’s come down to this. Tonight is the first time this post-season – and the second time overall this season after the Kings game in April – that the Calgary Flames are entering a game with their survival on the line. Tonight, they can be eliminated from the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks are a good team. We’ve all seen that over the eight post-season games they’ve played so far this year. They’ve only lost once, to a Flames team that played balls to the wall and eked out a thrilling Game 3 victory at the ‘Dome. In Anaheim, Calgary’s seemed out-matched. Heck, for the majority of the series, the Flames have been out-matched.

The question is thus: how much do the Calgary Flames have left in the tank? Do they have what it takes to steal a game in Anaheim and force Game 6 back in Calgary? Or is tonight the last stand for this year’s Flames?

Puck drop is just after 8pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Projected lines for tonight:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler
Bouma – Backlund – Colborne
Ferland – Stajan – Jones
Bollig – Bennett – Raymond

Russell – Wideman
Brodie – Engelland
Schlemko – Diaz

Karri Ramo is slated to get the start tonight. He’s 2-2 in the playoffs, with a 2.85 goals against average and .895 save percentage. He’s been “fine” for the Flames, though I’m not entirely sure why Bob Hartley’s ridden him as much as he has this round. It’s his fourth straight start this round and seventh appearance overall.

The Flames will need to be extremely opportunistic tonight. If the previous four games are any indication, shots and chances will be at a premium at the Honda Center, so they’ll need to get traffic and tips in front of Andersen. And their special teams game will need to be much better than it was in Game 4.

Can the Flames find a way to survive for two more days, or will this be the untimely end of Milhouse?

THE DUCKS

Projected lines for tonight:

Maroon – Getzlaf – Perry
Beleskey – Kesler – Silfverberg
Cogliano – Rakell – Palmieri
Fleischmann – Thompson – Jackman

Lindholm – Beauchemin
Fowler – Despres
Stoner – Vatanen

Frederik Andersen will get the start once again. He’s played every minute of every post-season game for the Ducks so far, and boasts a 7-1 record with a 1.96 goals against average and .927 save percentage. He’s been good when called upon, but he hasn’t had to steal any games for Anaheim so far.

Why? Because the Ducks are a pretty damn good hockey team, as we’ve all seen first-hand throughout this series.

THE NUMBERS

Post-Season Calgary Anaheim
Wins 5 7
Power Play 18.8% 28.0%
Penalty Kill 76.7% 88.9%
Corsi 46.9% 51.8%
Corsi Close 46.3% 51.8%
Faceoffs 47.9% 54.5%
PDO 98.6 104.3

SUM IT UP

The Calgary Flames must win this hockey game, or their season is over.