Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 44: A trip to the Windy City (6:30pm MT, SN West)

Just days after a comeback win in Philadelphia, the Calgary Flames (26-13-4, 56 points) are back in action as they finish off their four game eastern road trip. Tonight’s opponent is the Chicago Blackhawks (16-21-7, 39 points), who are coming off a game in Pittsburgh on Sunday evening. Can the Flames take advantage of a tired team and finish off their road trip with another win?

The action kicks off at 6:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich makes his 22nd start of the season for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith. The projected healthy scratches are Dalton Prout and Andrew Mangiapane, who was activated from the injury reserve list earlier today.

The Flames need more out of their special teams. Over the last 10 games, their power play has out-scored the other team’s power play twice. They need it to happen more often if they want to make some noise down the stretch.

Some scoring from their second power play unit would also be a small wonder.

The Blackhawks

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Saad – Toews – Kahun
Anisimov – Strome – Kane
DeBrincat – Kampf – Perlini
Caggiula – Kruger – Kunitz

Keith – Seabrook
Davidson – Gustafsson
Dahlstrom – Murphy

As Cam Ward started in Pittsburgh, backup Collin Delia goes for the Blackhawks tonight against the Flames. The healthy scratches last night were John Hayden and Gustav Forsling, so potentially one (or both) slot in tonight.

Per Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, Henri Jokiharju has been recalled from his stint with the Finnish National Team, but there’s no word if he’ll be playing tonight.

Despite picking up a win last night, the Blackhawks aren’t having a good year at all. They’ve been wildly inconsistent, their cap management is all over the place, and the team lacks the cohesion we saw from the Stanley Cup winning squads (which had better depth due to their star players making less than they do now). Chicago has some strong offensive players, but this is a winnable game for the Flames.

The Numbers

Wins 26 16
Points 56 39
Corsi Close 53.2% 48.5%
Power Play 20.9% 15.9%
Penalty Kill 78.4% 73.8%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Juuso Valimaki and Michael Stone.

The Blackhawks are without Corey Crawford.

Season Series

Tonight is the third and final game between these teams this season. The Flames beat Chicago 5-3 in early November and 3-2 in early December.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Blackhawks Twitter follows for tonight:

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