FGD 18: Taming the coyotes (8pm MT, SN West)

Last night in the Twin Cities, the Calgary Flames played perhaps their most complete game of the season. They weren’t dipsy-doodling or dangling the puck wildly, but in terms of minimizing mistakes and taking advantage of their chances, they were golden in a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Tonight, they’re back in action as they return home to host the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes have been off since Saturday and will have some young, fresh legs in their lineup. The hope is that the Flames can keep their game simple and error-free if they want to grind out another win.

The action kicks off at 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Sam BennettSean MonahanTroy Brouwer
Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundMichael Frolik
Linden VeyMatt StajanAlex Chiasson
Micheal FerlandFreddie HamiltonGarnet Hathaway

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton
T.J. BrodieDennis Wideman
Brett KulakDeryk Engelland

After Chad Johnson got the start last night, presumably the team flips back to Brian Elliott given it’s a back-to-back scenario. That’s not confirmed, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

UPDATE: Nope.

The Flames didn’t skate this morning, so much of this is guess-work. The Flames are without Ladislav Smid (neck), Lance Bouma (shoulder), Kris Versteeg (groin) and Johnny Gaudreau (finger) for the time-being. The presumption is that given his familiarity with Sean Monahan and his status as the only healthy left-shot forward on the roster, Hunter Shinkaruk slots back in.

UPDATE: Nope, Vey is in. We’ll have updated lines for you after the pre-game warm-up.

Calgary had a power play goal last night and didn’t give up one for the second game in a row, setting some kind of record in terms of their recent play. If they can keep this up, maybe they’ll be okay going forward.

THE COYOTES

Lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:

Max DomiMartin HanzalRadim Vrbata
Tobias RiederJordan MartinookAnthony Duclair
Jamie McGinnBrad RichardsonShane Doan
 Lawson CrouseLaurent Dauphin

Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-LarssonMichael Stone
 Alex Goligoski

Anthony DeAngelo
 Jakob ChychrunConnor Murphy

Mike Smith is expected to start for the Coyotes tonight, returning from an injury. Martin Hanzal also slots in after being out for a bit.

The desert dogs are coming off a 2-1 loss against Boston in their last outing. After Calgary’s win yesterday, the Coyotes are (by points percentage) the worst outfit in the NHL. They’re rested, yes, but they’re also a team that’s struggled with consistency throughout the first chunk of this year.

The Flames are down a few key bodies. They played and then they traveled. But the Coyotes are a beatable opponent if the Flames can avoid silliness and stick to what made them successful against Minnesota.

Keep an eye on Lawson Crouse and Jacob Chychrun, two talented young Coyotes who are poised for big games sooner or later.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES COYOTES
Wins 6 5
Points 13 10
Power Play 10.2% 11.9%
Penalty Kill 73.8% 74.4%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 49.3% 45.7%

HISTORY LESSON

In 187 prior meetings with the Arizona franchise, the Flames are 88-72-27 all-time. They were 1-3-1 against Arizona last season. This is the first of five games between these two clubs this season.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Some Coyotes follows for tonight:

SUM IT UP

The Flames can claw a little bit closer to the .500 mark with a victory tonight. They can also provide themselves with some momentum and a glimmer of home for the post-Gaudreau stretch the team will have to survive going forward.