FGD 57: Trying to tame the Fancy Cats (5pm MT, SN West)

Losers of three in a row but still somehow fourth overall in the National Hockey League, the Calgary Flames (34-16-6, 74 points) will try to get back into the win column tonight in scenic Sunrise, Florida when they visit the Florida Panthers (23-24-8, 54 points). The Panthers are 13 points back of a playoff spot and should be a desperate bunch.

The game starts at 5 pm. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

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

The Flames kinda sucked against Tampa Bay. They’re a good team, as evidenced by their perch in the NHL’s standings – just a couple rungs beneath the powerhouse Lightning. But the Flames have been too dang loose defensively since before the All-Star Break and now the defensive chickens are coming home to roost – in the form of high-danger scoring chances being allowed and goals being scored on Flames goaltenders. Bill Peters has made some changes, keeping the same 12 forwards but shuffling around three of his four forward lines.

If the Flames can tighten up, and get more at even strength from players by the names of Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Backlund and Frolik, they’re still capable of being a terrifying team to play against.

The Panthers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hoffman – Barkov – Dadonov
Huberdeau – Trocheck – Vatrano
Brassard – Borgstrom – Malgin
McGinn – Sheahan – Brouwer

Yandle – Eklbad
Matheson – Pysyk
Kiselevich – Brown

James Reimer looks to be the starter for Florida, backed up by Roberto Luongo. The projected scratches are Ian McCoshen, Michael Haley and MacKenzie Weegar.

The Panthers are a streaky bunch. They’ve lost back-to-back games (including a 3-0 shutout to Dallas on Tuesday) but before that had won a pair of games in overtime. They’ve won three of seven since the All-Star Break and have 13 points (and five teams) between them and a playoff spot.

The Numbers

Wins 34 23
Points 74 54
Adjusted Corsi 52.5% 50.0%
Power Play 22.9% 25.9%
Penalty Kill 79.1% 81.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone.

The Panthers are without Derek MacKenzie, Jayce Hawryluk and Colton Sceviour.

Season Series

This is the second and final game of their season series. The Flames beat Florida 4-3 in the Saddledome back in January.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Panthers Twitter follows for tonight:

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