In the first of three games they’ll have this week in the greater New York City area, the Calgary Flames (27-18-8) head to scenic Newark to visit the New Jersey Devils (27-17-8). It’s the second game on the Flames’ six game road trip and, following a pair of wins over the Chicago Blackhawks, they hope to keep their momentum rolling along.
The game starts just after 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Brouwer (A)
Lomberg – Stajan – Hathaway
Giordano (C) – Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone
David Rittich makes his 7th road start of the season. He’s 4-1-2 with a 2.23 goals against average and .926 save percentage, with his only loss coming at home in relief. He’s backed up by Mike Smith, who will start tomorrow against the Rangers. The healthy scratches tonight remain Matt Bartkowski, Curtis Lazar and Marek Hrivik, with Lazar swapping out for Ryan Lomberg.
So, uh, the Flames don’t have a very good power play. They had 1:40 of continuous five-on-three time in the first period against Chicago and generated one shot. One. That’s pretty awful. Heading into tonight, the Flames are 24th out of the league’s 31 teams in terms of power play performance – and 12th out of the Western Conference teams. Only one team ahead of Calgary in the standings – St. Louis – is worse on the power play.
Despite the awful, awful power play, Johnny Gaudreau continues to generate offense and do Johnny Gaudreau things. He had two assists against Chicago and somehow didn’t get credit for the second goal despite redirecting it past Jeff Glass. Oh well. He’s seventh in the entire NHL in scoring.
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Hall – Hischier – Bratt
Wood – Zacha – Palmieri
Coleman – Zajac – Noesen
Quenneville – Hayes – Stafford
Greene – Vatanen
Moore – Severson
Butcher – Lovejoy
Keith Kinkaid starts for the Devils. He’s 10-5-2 with a 3.13 goals against average and .893 save percentage. He’s backed up by Eddie Lack, who got some action in relief against Ottawa but probably won’t see much action before Cory Schneider returns. The scratches look to be Brian Boyle and Mirco Mueller.
The Devils lost to Ottawa on Tuesday, snapping a three game winning streak (that was preceded by a four game losing streak). But they didn’t lose Taylor Hall, despite Alex Burrows’ best efforts. Hall’s been dynamite for the Devils this season, leading the Devils in scoring with 52 points. He has more assists than the next-closest player (Jesper Bratt) has points.
Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee) and Kris Versteeg (hip) are on the injured reserve.
New Jersey: Ryane Clowe (concussion), Marcus Johansson (concussion) and Brian Gibbons (thumb) are on the injured reserve. Cory Schneider (groin) is injured but remains on the active roster.
When Last We Met
This is the final (and second) meeting between these teams. The Flames beat New Jersey 5-4 in a shootout back in November.
Know Thy Enemy
Here are some Devils tweeters:
Sum It Up
The Flames keep plugging along on their road trip and keep trying to scrounge points away en route to what they hope will be a playoff appearance.
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