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Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 47: Hunting for two points against the Coyotes (7:30pm MT, SN One)

Winners of four consecutive games, the Calgary Flames (29-13-4, 62 points) hope to continue their winning ways – but look better doing so – tonight at the Saddledome. They host the Arizona Coyotes (20-21-3, 43 points), who played last night in Edmonton.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

Mike Smith starts for the Flames, suiting up for the first time since giving up five goals on Jan. 3 in Boston. He’s backed up by David Rittich. The projected healthy scratches are Dalton Prout and Austin Czarnik.

Flames head coach Bill Peters hasn’t been overly pleased with his team’s games lately. Speaking after practice on Saturday at Winsport, he expressed no concern about the team’s level of urgency or desperation at this point in the season, and noted that the key to better starts is putting together better early shifts and letting things roll along. Against a tired Coyotes team, it’ll be interesting if the Flames can put their stamp on things early, or if they’ll be out-worked by Arizona early on.

The Flames are looking to tie the 1988-89 club as the fastest to win 30 games in a single season. It’s also the 800th game of Mark Giordano’s NHL career, making him the fourth player in team history to play that many games. Giordano shared his thoughts on the milestone after morning skate:

Every time you hit the hundred game milestones it’s cool and to be at eight now is really special. Just try not take it for granted. I want to play for a long time still, I feel like I have a lot left and hopefully I can get a bunch more.

The Coyotes

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Keller – Stepan – Fischer
Panik – Galchenyuk – Hinostroza
Weal – Cousins – Garland
Crouse – Kempe – Archibald

Ekman-Larsson – Hjalmarsson
Chychrun – Lyubushkin
Oesterle – Goligoski

The Coyotes aren’t skating today, but we can make some assumptions: since Darcy Kuemper started in Edmonton, most likely Adin Hill plays tonight – a Calgary product starting against the Flames during Esso Minor Hockey Week. Laurent Dauphin was the lone healthy scratch, so potentially he could swap in.

The Desert Dogs have had a rough season, if you’ll forgive the pun. They’re a young, scrappy bunch, but they’ve been absolutely hammered by injuries this season. Case in point: they head into tonight’s game missing seven regulars. It’s tough to win when you never get a chance to ice your full lineup so credit where it’s due – the Coyotes have hung around the playoff picture.

Also notable: Coyotes forward Conor Garland scored a goal with his face against Edmonton.

The Numbers

CGY ARZ
Wins 29 20
Points 62 43
Corsi Close 53.1% 48.8%
Power Play 21.9% 17.9%
Penalty Kill 78.3% 88.6%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Juuso Valimaki and Michael Stone.

The Coyotes are without Christian Dvorak, Jason Demers, Antti Raanta, Michael Grabner, Nick Schmaltz, Kevin Connauton and Brad Richardson.

Season Series

This is the second of four meetings between these teams this season. The Flames beat Arizona 6-1 back in November.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Coyotes Twitter follows for tonight:

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