Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

FGD 41: The halfway mark in Detroit (5pm MT, SN West)

The Calgary Flames (24-12-3, 52 points) hit the halfway point of their 2018-19 season on Wednesday night as they begin a four game road trip. Their first stop is Michigan, where they visit the Detroit Red Wings (15-19-7, 37 points). After a big clash on New Year’s Eve with San Jose, the Flames are looking to keep their momentum rolling and avoid an emotional let-down.

The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski –  Neal
Dube – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

With the injury to David Rittich, Mike Smith starts tonight and is backed up by Jon Gillies. The healthy scratches are Dalton Prout and Austin Czarnik. As you’d expect after such a big win, no changes are expected from the lineup from Monday night.

The Flames need to play better defensively. If you run back the tape from the San Jose win, most of their goals against were a result of defensive lapses giving the Sharks really good scoring opportunities. Now they’re headed on the road for four games and it seems like a good chance for them to simplify their game a bit and tidy up their defensive play.

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The Red Wings

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Nyquist – Larkin – Abdelkader
Bertuzzi – Nielsen – Vanek
Rasmussen – Glendening – Athanasiou
Frk – de la Rose – Ehn

Kronwall – Hronek
Ericsson – Jensen
Cholowski – Witkowski

Jimmy Howard starts for the Wings, backed up by Jonathan Bernier. The projected healthy scratches are Brian Lashoff and Wade Megan.

Detroit is coming off shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on New Year’s Eve. They played pretty well and probably deserved a better fate, but they’re not getting many breaks these days. They’re hammered by injuries and have been hampered by the inconsistency of their young players at key times in games.

They’re near the NHL’s basement and aren’t quite in Jack Hughes territory, but they’re getting there.

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The Numbers

Wins 24 15
Points 52 37
Corsi Close 53.3% 46.7%
Power Play 21.1% 17.9%
Penalty Kill 79.2% 77.8%

Injury Report

The Flames are without David Rittich, Juuso Valimaki, Andrew Mangiapane and Michael Stone.

The Red Wings are without Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Mike Green, Anthony Mantha, Darren Helm, Dan Dekeyser and Trevor Daley.

Season Series

This is the first of two meetings between Calgary and Detroit both this season and this month. They’ll meet once more in two weeks at the Saddledome.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Red Wings Twitter follows for tonight:

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