(Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports)
After a thrilling shootout victory on Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames (9-14-2) flirt with hitting double-digits in wins this season tonight when they host the Boston Bruins.
It’s a game full of storylines! Dougie Hamilton plays his old team! The Flames try to maintain their home-ice momentum! Johnny Gaudreau trying to stick-handle around (or between the legs of) Zdeno Chara!
The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Karri Ramo will start for the Flames for the Nth time this season and the 14th time in the last 15 games. It’s a bit curious, considering he wasn’t that great against Dallas, but they won and I suppose Bob Hartley doesn’t wanna change anything up after a win and Ramo has been on a pretty decent run lately. He’s 7-8-1 on the season with a 3.01 goals against average and .898 save percentage. The extra Flames bodies are projected to be Deryk Engelland, Mason Raymond and Josh Jooris.
Once again, the key for the Flames will be taking advantage of their special teams; basically, don’t take too many penalties against Boston and pounce on as many man-advantages than the Bruins hand them. The Flames still aren’t an amazing possession team, though they’re better than they have been, so they’ll have to take what they can get.
Hartley says a few lineup decisions to be made at game time. Says he told everyone to be ready. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) December 4, 2015
Well that’s probably not a good sign. Reports from skates the last couple days had many people missing due to “maintenance.”
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Tuukka Rask is expected to start for the Bruins. He’s 8-7-2 with a 2.87 goals against average and .902 save percentage. The Bruins are missing a lot of key bodies right now: Chris Kelly, David Pastrnak, Kevan Miller and almost-Flame Alexander Khokhlachev.
The Bruins have struggled at times this season, partially due to some goaltending and defensive struggles (and injuries), but they have gotten a nice boost from the young players in their organization – notably former NCAA forward Frank Vatrano. Combined with the names the Bruins have in the upper-end of their roster, they’re not a team that can ever really be written off, even if they do have some holes.
But man, looking at that defense, they probably wish they had a guy like Dougie Hamilton on their roster right now.
B’s scrap full skate, Jonas Gustavsson looks poised to start against the Calgary Flames tonight https://t.co/3T1YNtK2OU
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 4, 2015
Gustavsson’s been more consistent than Rask this season, but is not typically considered a better goalie.
WHEN LAST WE MET
Last season, Calgary and Boston faced off in a pair of really close, really entertaining games. The Flames won both of them by identical 4-3 scores, once in overtime and once in a shootout. David Schlemko was immortalized as a Flames hero for his shootout goal in the latter game.
All-time, though, the Flames haven’t been great against the boys from Beantown, posting a 35-56-10-0 record. Of the active NHL franchises, Boston’s the one that the Flames have fared the worst against. (For the curious, the team that the Flames have historically dominated the most is New Jersey.)
HOME ICE HERO
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SUM IT UP
The Flames snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Tuesday night, putting together an excellent third period (on top of a pretty good second) and beat a really good Dallas Stars club. They probably don’t want to be in the same situation again – down 3-0 at home against a good team – but they probably also feel like they have some momentum on their side.
If so, it’s time to take advantage of it.