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Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 56: Clash of the titans (5:30pm MT, SN West)

Back in December, two of the National Hockey League’s best teams met at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Tonight at Amalie Arena, they’ll meet again. The Calgary Flames (34-15-6, 74 points) one of the top clubs in the Western Conference. The Tampa Bay Lightning (41-11-4, 86 points) are the top club in the Eastern Conference (and the best overall). The Lightning are in cruise control, while the Flames are trying to scrounge points and punch their ticket to the post-season.

The game starts at 5:30 pm. 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
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith. Dalton Prout and Austin Czarnik are the projected healthy scratches.

This morning, the Flames woke up in an unfamiliar place: second in the Pacific Division. The Sharks leap-frogged them last night with a pummeling of Michael Dipietro and the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames are a point behind the Sharks but have two games in hand.

The Flames are 1-2-1 since the All-Star Break and the only game that wasn’t close was their 5-2 loss to the Sharks. If the Flames can find their swagger again, they could be a dangerous team. But to do that, they really need to play better in their own end. Making life easier on their goaltenders will make life easier on everybody going forward.

The Lightning

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gourde – Stamkos – Kucherov
Killorn – Point – Johnson
Erne – Cirelli – Miller
Callahan – Paquette – Martel

Hedman – Girardi
McDonagh – Stralman
Coburn – Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts for the Lightning, backed up by Louis Domingue. Their projected scratches are Ondrej Palat, Jan Rutta and Erik Cernak.

The Lightning keep rolling along. They have points in every game since the All-Star Break (4-0-1). They’ve played four one-goal games, and the only game that wasn’t as close was Sunday’s 5-2 win over Florida. They’re a deep, talented team, and they’re doing enough to win consistently every night.

They’re a tough out on every single night.

The Numbers

CGY TBL
Wins 34 41
Points 74 86
Adjusted Corsi 52.6% 53.0%
Power Play 22.3% 29.1%
Penalty Kill 79.8% 85.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone.

The Lightning are healthy.

Season Series

This is the second and final game of their season series. The Lightning beat the Flames 5-4 in a shootout back in December.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Lightning Twitter follows for tonight:

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