It’s a rare matinee home game on a holiday Monday, as the Calgary Flames (30-21-8) celebrate Family Day by renewing acquaintances with the Boston Bruins (35-13-8). You may recall that these teams met last week in Boston in a game the Flames lost. You may also recall that the Flames and Bruins both lost on Saturday night in very one-sided, ugly games. Two teams with something to prove will meet and one of them (the Flames) desperately need the points to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.
The puck drops around 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund (A) – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Hathaway
Klimchuk – Stajan – Lazar
Giordano (C) – Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone
David Rittich starts for the Flames. He’s 6-3-2 with a 2.76 goals against average and .913 save percentage. He’s backed up by Jon Gillies. The healthy scratches are Matt Bartkowski and Ryan Lomberg.
Update: Per Flames, Rittich starts and Klimchuk makes his NHL debut.
You know who’s been good lately? Dougie Hamilton. He had a hat-trick against Florida and has scored four goals in the past two games. He’s finally getting time on the first power play unit in the absence of Troy Brouwer and it seems to be working, as the power play is starting to score with regularity.
On the other hand, the Flames had one of their shakiest overall even strength performances against Florida, getting out-scored 4-1 and generally looking a bit out of sorts. With how tight the West’s playoff race is, they really cannot afford too many off nights from here on out.
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Spooner
Heinen – Nash – Backes
Schaller – Kuraly – Acciari
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – McQuaid
Tuukka Rask starts for Boston. He’s 23-10-4 with a 2.20 goals against average and .921 save percentage. He’s backed up by Anton Khudobin. The expected healthy scratches are Paul Postma and Jordan Szwarz.
The Bruins are very good, but they were walloped by Vancouver on Saturday night in a 6-1 loss. They’re a proud group and generally do not have consecutive bad games. They’re a deep, talented team that can roll three strong lines (and a pretty solid fourth line), has strong special teams and generally gets good goaltending every night. This is a big hurdle for the Flames to jump this afternoon.
Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Troy Brouwer (facial fracture) and Marek Hrivik (undisclosed) are on the injured reserve. Mike Smith (lower-body) is hurt but on the active roster.
Boston: Anders Bjork (upper-body) and Frank Vatrano (lower-body) are on the injured reserve. Kevan Miller (upper-body) is close to a return and is on the active roster.
When Last We Met
The Flames played the Bruins in Boston last week. They lost 5-2. They were good for half the game and then ran out of steam.
Know Thy Enemy
Here are folks that tweet Bruins hockey, usually:
Sum It Up
The Flames were spanked by the Panthers on Saturday and face a pretty stiff test against a very strong Eastern Conference opponent.
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