The Calgary Flames (35-32-10) are back at home and officially starting to play out the string, having been mathematically eliminated from post-season contention with a loss against Los Angeles on Monday night. But the games keep coming and the undermanned Flames face a big, big challenge in the form of the Columbus Blue Jackets (43-29-5). The home side has scored three goals over their last five outings. The visitors lit up Edmonton for seven goals on Tuesday night. It’s a big game for Columbus to try to cement their playoff status, while the Flames are likely hoping not to be embarrassed on home ice.
The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Bennett – Backlund (A) – Brouwer (A)
Frolik – Jankowski – Stewart
Ferland – Shore – Lazar
Glass – Stajan – Hathaway
Giordano (C) – Hamilton
Stone – Hamonic
Kulak – Andersson
Jon Gillies starts for the Flames, coming off Mike Smith’s loss against the Kings. The projected healthy scratches are Matt Bartkowski and Spencer Foo, just recalled from Stockton earlier today. The Flames are without Johnny Gaudreau (personal leave) for at least one more game, but it seems like they’ll be without Matthew Tkachuk and TJ Brodie (upper-body, both) for the remainder of the season. They join Sean Monahan (hip and wrist) and Kris Versteeg (hip) in the shutdown club.
We’ll see some new line combinations tonight given the many, many absences and the ongoing six game losing streak. So say hello to a new first line – yes, including Troy Brouwer – and a few new depth combinations as head coach Glen Gulutzan shuffles things around. Of note: the Flames are missing seven skaters that played in their game in Columbus back in November.
The Blue Jackets
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Jenner – Wennberg – Vanek
Milano – Dubinsky – Bjorkstrand
Hannikainen – Letestu – Calvert
Werenski – Jones
Cole – Savard
Murray – Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky starts for ‘Lumbus. He’s backed up by Joonas Korpisalo. The Jackets are carrying roughly 26 healthy-ish bodies and their scratches look to be Scott Harrington, Jack Johnson, Taylor Chorney, Dean Kukan, Eric Robinson and Alex Broadhurst.
The Jackets enter tonight’s action in a fairy precarious position. They’re in the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, but with a few more successful games on their western swing they could end up with home ice in the first round of the playoffs. The top end of the East is close to being locked up, but there could potentially be a lot of movement in the bottom end of the playoff picture.
Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee) and Marek Hrivik (upper-body) are on the injured reserve. Kris Versteeg (hip), Sean Monahan (various), Matthew Tkachuk (suspected concussion) and TJ Brodie (upper-body) are all done for the season.
Columbus: Josh Anderson (lower-body), Lukas Sedlak (undisclosed) and Nick Folgino (lower-body) are out but remain on the active roster.
When Last We Met
This is the second and final meeting between these teams this season. Columbus shut out the Flames 1-0 back in November at Nationwide Arena. It was a good game where the Flames played well but couldn’t buy a freakin’ goal. Remember that?
Know Thy Enemy
Check out these Blue Jackets-related accounts tonight!
Sum It Up
The Flames have four games to go after tonight, and hopefully can use the final few games to allow a few key players to generate some momentum. At the very least hopefully they can score some goals on home ice.
FGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL
Let’s show Vegas something they’ve never seen before—Alberta hockey fans.
Enter the Vegas Breakaway for a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas and tickets to a Golden Knights game. Enter to win at atb.com/vegas