Less than 24 hours after being shut out by the Dallas Stars, the Calgary Flames (32-23-9) dust themselves off and prepare for another critical match-up in the Western Conference playoff race. They face another team on the outside of the playoffs, and scrambling for points, in the form of the Colorado Avalanche (33-24-5). These teams faced each other on Saturday in Calgary and the Flames played a really good game. Can they bounce back from the Dallas loss against a team that they’ve had recent success against?
The game kicks off just after 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines based on how things finished last night, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Bennett
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Stewart – Jankowski – Hathaway
Lazar – Stajan – Brouwer (A)
Giordano (C) – Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone
Since Jon Gillies started yesterday, it’s David Rittich time in Colorado. Rittich hasn’t started in three games and has had a few rocky outings, but he’s had time to hopefully work out of his funk. He’s 6-4-3 with a 3.03 goals against average and .903 save percentage. While Nick Shore joined the team in Denver, he’s dealing with an illness and won’t make his debut tonight. He joins Matt Bartkowski and Tanner Glass in the press box.
The Flames have been shut out five times this season. In the previous four games, they followed things up with a 6-3 win over Winnipeg, a 5-2 win over Vancouver, a 6-4 loss to Dallas, and a 6-1 win over Vancouver. So they usually win, but they’ve always scored at least four goals. If they can get some solid goaltending, their “typical” offensive bounce-back should be a push in the right direction.
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Landeskog – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Compher – Kerfoot – Wilson
Comeau – Soderberg – Nieto
Bourque – Jost – Yakupov
Zadorov – Barrie
Nemeth – Girard
Siemens – Warsofsky
Semyon Varlamov starts for Colorado. He’s 16-13-3 with a 2.88 goals against average and .912 save percentage. He’s backed up by Spencer Martin, as Andrew Hammond goes through the concussion protocol after being hit by a stick on the bench during Colorado’s game. The projected healthy scratches for the Avs are Mark Alt and Dominic Toninato.
The Avalanche are on the cusp of falling out of the playoff picture, and they can draw even with the Flames with a regulation win or topple further from a playoff berth with a loss. Expect a desperate Avalanche club tonight as this is the latest in a series of must-win games for them.
Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Marek Hrivik (upper-body) and Mike Smith (lower-body) are on the injured reserve. Micheal Ferland (upper-body) is hurt but on the active roster.
Colorado: Vladislav Kamenev (arm), Mark Barberio (lower-body), Jonathan Bernier (concussion), Erik Johnson (upper-body), Sven Andrighetto (leg) and Anton Lindholm (upper-body) are on the injured reserve.
When Last We Met
This is the final meeting between the Flames and Avalanche this season. The Flames have won the first two games by 3-2 and 5-1 scores.
Know Thy Enemy
Here are some Avalanche-related accounts!
Sum It Up
It’s a big game for both teams, as both the Flames and Avalanche desperately need points to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.
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