The Calgary Flames’ two-game jaunt to China comes to its conclusion this morning as they head to Beijing to tangle with the Boston Bruins. The Flames “hosted” the Bruins on Saturday in Shenzhen and this time they’ll be the road team. Regardless of where in the world they’re playing it’s a second chance for the Flames to implement new head coach Bill Peters’ systems in a live game, and it’s a chance for a few fresh faces to attempt to impress.
The puck drops just after 5:30 a.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines from practices:
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm
James Neal – Derek Ryan – Austin Czarnik
Sam Bennett – Mark Jankowski – Garnet Hathaway
Morgan Klimchuk – Curtis Lazar – Anthony Peluso
Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin – Travis Hamonic
Rasmus Andersson – Dalton Prout
Mike Smith starts for the Flames and will likely go the distance after not even dressing in the game in Shenzhen. We’ll also get the preseason debuts for Klimchuk, Lazar, Peluso, Andersson and Prout after that quintet was scratched in Shenzhen. It appears that Frolik, Backlund, Kulak and Stone are the extras. Matthew Tkachuk took a tumble in practice and didn’t participate in morning skate, so it seems that Neal will remain in the lineup.
Lines from the post-Shenzhen practice:
Brad Marchand – Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk/Martin Bakos – Jack Studnicka – Ryan Donato
Joakim Nordstrom/Peter Cehlarik – Trent Frederic – David Backes
Chris Wagner – Colby Cave – Jordan Szwarz
Urho Vaakanainen/Jakub Zboril – Charlie McAvoy
John Moore – Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
After Jaroslav Halak started in Shenzhen look for Tuukka Rask to start in Beijing. The Bruins have added goalie Derek Dun (of the Chinese KHL squad Kunlun Red Star) to their roster on a PTO and he’ll serve as their emergency goaltender.
We’ll update the Bruins roster with the suspected scratches closer to puck drop.
Things to Watch
Dube’s night back in Calgary is not lost on those here in China. 3 goals so far has those with the team, buzzing.
— Ryan Leslie (@ryanleslie73) September 18, 2018
Dillon Dube made a big statement last night in Calgary’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers. He’s in the hunt for a bottom six roster spot. You would hope to see Klimchuk and Lazar put together nice performances as they, too, vie for bottom six duty on the opening night roster.
On the blueline, how will Andersson look? Neither of Juuso Valimaki or Oliver Kylington blew the doors off against the Oilers, so perhaps there’s an opening for Andersson to have a statement game against a much more NHLer-laden lineup than the Oilers dressed on Monday evening.