(Brad Penner / USA Today Sports)
We love HOME games; have Liquor Depot deliver in under an hour. Click, pick, sit back and watch the game.
After nine days on the road – and five games – the Calgary Flames can finally put their longest road trip of the regular season firmly in their rear-view mirror after one last road game. Their final game of the trip is tonight at the Barclays Center in scenic Brooklyn, New York as they visit the New York Islanders. Best known for hipsters, beards and really good pizza, Brooklyn is now also home to some of the worst ice in the NHL and the inconsistent Islanders.
It will also be known as the place when Mark Jankowski made his NHL debut.
Tonight’s game kicks off at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Lines via Daily Faceoff:
The Flames don’t have a morning skate today because of the back-to-back games situation, so we have a lot of guessing to do:
- Chad Johnson (7-4-1, .922 save percentage) faced over 40 shots last night. Brian Elliott slots in tonight in net, possibly simply because of Johnson’s workload against the Flyers.
- Jyrki Jokipakka, Hunter Shinkaruk and Mark Jankowski were healthy scratches last night. Based on how awful the Flames were last night, it’s probable that all three slot in tonight just to provide some new energy to the line-up tonight.
- Well, we know that Jankowski will slot in, we just don’t know WHERE. So we all get to be in suspense for the next couple of hours.
The Flames had good special teams last night, scoring a power play goal and two shorthanded goals while only giving up a single power play goal. By their standards, that’s an excellent night. They were just lousy at even strength. If they can keep that special teams mojo going and, y’know, not play absolutely porous defense in their own end, maybe they can salvage this trip and finish above .500 over their six game jaunt.
Lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Thomas Greiss starts tonight for the Islanders. He’s 3-4-0 with a .915 save percentage in seven starts. It’s a Johnson/Elliott situation there, as Greiss has better numbers (and the same number of wins) as Jaroslav Halak in fewer starts.
Beyond Greiss in goal, there aren’t any significant chances in the Isles’ line-up. They remain without Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan Pulock and Dennis Seidenberg due to injury. Like the Flames, they have a handful of offensive leaders (John Tavares, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey and Nik Leddy), though none of them are anywhere close to a point-per-game and so they shouldn’t be considered a powerhouse or anything like that.
If the Flames can get back to basics and win some battles, this is a winnable game to cap off their road trip.
The Flames are 44-46-22 all-time against the Islanders. Calgary lost both games against the Isles last year, once in regulation and once in overtime, and scored just one goal between those two games. They’ll play each other again in Calgary in early March.
KNOW THY ENEMY
Here are some Islanders accounts worth following for tonight:
SUM IT UP
If the Flames lose tonight, they’ll finish this trip at exactly .500 (3-3-0). If they can get a win, they’ll finish at 4-2-0, which is pretty good all things considered. If they want to claw closer to a Western Conference playoff spot, they need a win tonight.