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Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 45: Back home against Colorado (7:30pm MT, SN West)

After winning three times on their four game road trip, the Calgary Flames (27-13-4, 58 points) are back at home. They kick off a lengthy five game homestand tonight at the Saddledome against the Colorado Avalanche (20-15-8, 48 points), who lost last night in Winnipeg.

The action kicks off at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Prout – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the 23rd time this season for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith. Oliver Kylington and Andrew Mangiapane are the projected scratches. The team’s reliable shutdown trio (the 3M Line) reunites for a game against arguably the NHL’s top trio, while Kylington sits after sitting for the final 34 minutes of Monday’s game in Chicago. Dalton Prout comes back in, perhaps as an evaluation tool (as the Flames have been oft-rumoured to be looking for left sidedepth on the blueline).

The Flames haven’t played a full 60 minutes in a few games. The good news is they’ve been good enough to win despite that, as they’re a team with a lot of offensive weapons that can tilt a game seemingly at the drop of a hat. But you have to think that Bill Peters wants more from his club, particularly some in-game consistency and better starts.

The Avalanche are going to be an ornery bunch after giving up a touchdown in Winnipeg last evening, so a good start for the Flames might be very important to getting another two points.

The Avalanche

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Landeskog – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Jost – Kerfoot – Compher
Nieto – Soderberg – Calvert
Andrighetto – Dries – O’Connor

Girard – Johnson
Cole – Barrie
Graves – Nemeth

Since Philipp Grubauer started in Winnipeg, expect Semyon Varlamov to start tonight against the Flames. The healthy scratch last night was Gabriel Bourque, so expect him to rotate back in most likely.

The Avalanche played the Jets last night. Their special teams were found wanting, as they gave up three power play goals and a shorthanded goal to the Jets. Colorado out-shot Winnipeg 41-21, but the special teams performances were the big difference.

Colorado isn’t as terrifying as they once were, but that top line is legit. Expect an interesting chess match as the Flames try to negate them.

The Numbers

CGY COL
Wins 27 20
Points 58 48
Corsi Close 53.2% 49.5%
Power Play 21.0% 26.5%
Penalty Kill 78.1% 75.8%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Juuso Valimaki and Michael Stone.

The Avalanche are without Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev, Nikita Zadorov and Colin Wilson.

Season Series

Tonight is the third and final game between these teams this season. The Flames beat Colorado 3-2 in overtime back in October and 6-5 back in November.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Avalanche Twitter follows for tonight:

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