The Calgary Flames (2-1-0) made National Hockey League history on Monday night by ending a league-record losing streak at the Honda Center. Now, they’ll go from a city where they haven’t had a lot of success to one where they have: scenic Los Angeles, California, where they face the Kings (2-0-0). After winning in Anaheim for the first time since early 2004, the Flames are visiting Staples Center, one of the road buildings where they’ve had the most success. It’s another key divisional game in a month chock-full of ’em!
The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. MT. Catch it on Sportsnet 960 The Fan and Sportsnet West! It’s a late one, so put on a pot of coffee and gaze upon the Flames debut of Jaromir Jagr.
Here are projected lines for the Flames, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Versteeg – Bennett – Jagr
Glass – Stajan – Brouwer (A)
Giordano (C) – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Bartkowski – Stone
Mike Smith makes his fourth start for the Flames. He’s made more saves than anybody else in the NHL right now, winning two of three games (and making 110 saves). He’s rocking a .957 save percentage. Is that sustainable? Nope. Does it matter right now? Nope. Eddie Lack dresses as backup.
Jaromir Jagr will make his debut as a Calgary Flame tonight in LA vs Kings.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 11, 2017
The Flames skate in a little bit, but Sportsnet’s John Shannon is reporting that Jaromir Jagr will make his Flames debut tonight. The presumption, pre-morning skate, is that Curtis Lazar sits (along with Brett Kulak and Freddie Hamilton). But we’ll update when more information is available.
The Flames have allowed the second-most shots against per game in the league. They’re slightly above water in even strength scoring and their special teams are out-scoring their opponents (even after giving up a shorthanded goal to Winnipeg). The team collectively hasn’t been amazing yet (and they’re already better than they were a year ago), but Smith’s strong play is definitely covering up for a few deficiencies that the team’s working through.
Here are Los Angeles’ projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Iafallo – Kopitar (C) – Brown
Pearson – Carter (A) – Toffoli
Andreoff – Kempe – Cammalleri
Clifford – Shore – Lewis
Forbort – Doughty (A)
Muzzin – Folin
MacDermid – Fantenberg
Jonathan Quick starts for the third time. He’s backed up by Darcy Kuemper. The Kings have allowed one goal so far this season. Their extra bodies are Paul LaDue, Nic Dowd and Jonny Brodzinski. If you, like me, are wondering who the heck is that on the left side of the Kings’ top line, that’s former Minnesota-Duluth standout Alex Iafallo (they signed him in April).
There are a few Flames connections on the Kings this season; notably assistant coach Dave Lowry (a former Flames captain) and Mike Cammalleri, who scored many goals for the Flames back in the day.
Flames: Marek Hrivik (undisclosed) and Daniel Pribyl (knee) are on the injured reserve.
Kings: Marian Gaborik (knee) and Alec Martinez (upper-body) are on the injured reserve.
When Last We Met
The Flames won three of five games against the Kings last season. In their most recent meeting, they won 4-1.
Know Thy Enemy
If you’re looking to beef up your Twitter experience, here’s a few Kings accounts to check out:
Sum It Up
The Flames have won two games in a row. If they win three in a row, based on the information I’ve gleaned from the Major League movies, that qualifies as a “winning streak.” (They have happened before.) Plus, wins in divisional games are huge regardless of whenever they fall in the calendar.