The Calgary Flames (24-16-4) have one game remaining before their CBA-mandated five day break and they head into their road trip finale with a lot of momentum. The Flames have won all three games on their current road trip, all of their games in 2018 and six in a row overall dating back to New Year’s Eve. They face the Carolina Hurricanes (20-16-8) in a matinee game today with the possibility of sweeping their entire road trip and heading into the break on a seven game streak.
The puck drops just after 1 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. (Grab some brunch and get set for all that hockey!)
Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Bennett- Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Brouwer (A)
Mangiapane – Jankowski – Hathaway
Hrivik – Stajan – Lazar
Giordano (C) – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone
Mike Smith returns to the crease for the Flames after getting the night off on Friday. He’s 19-13-3 with a 2.50 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. He’s back up by David Rittich. No changes for the Flames in the midst of their hot streak, so the healthy scratches are Matt Bartkowski, Marek Hrivik and the newly-recalled Ryan Lomberg.
UPDATE: No Monahan tonight, so Hrivik draws in.
Interestingly, Mikael Backlund pointed out to me last night that the Flames have been out-shot this entire road trip. Some issues are easily masked when you're winning .
— Kristen Odland (@Kristen_Odland) January 13, 2018
Checking out the data at our pals at Natural Stat Trick, the Flames have been out-shot on the road trip in all three games at five-on-five and overall. But they’ve gotten effective goaltending, good special teams, and their best players – Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan primarily – have been difference-makers. Who knows how long it lasts, but they’ve managed to keep things rolling since the calendar turned over.
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Aho – Staal – Teravainen
McGinn – Rask – Williams
Skinner – Wallmark – Stempniak
Di Guiseppe – Kruger – Jooris
Slavin – Faulk
Hanifin – Van Riemsdyk
Dahlbeck – Fleury
After starting the first half of Carolina’s back-to-back on Thursday, Scott Darling starts for the Canes. He’s 9-11-6 with a 2.90 goals against average and a .896 save percentage. He’s backed up by Cam Ward. The Hurricanes don’t have any extra healthy bodies right now.
Carolina has been all over the place in 2018: a 5-4 overtime loss to Washington, a 4-0 shutout win over Pittsburgh, a 7-1 loss to Boston, a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay, a 3-1 win over Washington and a 4-3 loss to Washington (where they blew a lead and lost in regulation by allowing two goals in the last four minutes). They’re a pretty good possession team and they have some talented young players, but they’re struggling with consistency and their goaltending hasn’t been amazing this season.
Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Michael Frolik (jaw) and Jaromir Jagr (groin/knee) are on the injured reserve.
Carolina: Brett Pesce (lower-body) is on the injured reserve. Derek Ryan (upper-body), Elias Lindholm (illness) and Joakim Nordstrom (illness) missed Friday’s game against Washington.
When Last We Met
This is the final meeting between the Flames and the former Whalers this season. Carolina beat the Flames 2-1 in Calgary back in mid-October.
Man, I miss the Whalers…
Know Thy Enemy
Check out these Hurricanes tweeters, y’all:
Sum It Up
The Flames try to finish off their pre-break schedule by extending their win streak to seven games.
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