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Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 60: The Jack Adams Bowl (7:30pm MT, SN1)

Two teams coached by Jack Adams Award contenders clash tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome! The Calgary Flames (36-16-7, 79 points) are coached by Bill Peters and lead the Pacific Division. The New York Islanders (35-17-6, 76 points) are coached by Barry Trotz and lead the Atlantic Division. They’re playing twice in the next week – tonight and next Tuesday – in what’s effectively a playoff mini-series.

The puck drops after 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

Mike Smith starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The projected healthy scratches are Dalton Prout and Curtis Lazar, while James Neal remains out with a lower body injury of unspecified severity. TJ Brodie is back after a one game absence.

Smith starts for the fourth game in a row, something he hasn’t done since the beginning of the season. He’s helped the Flames earn points in each of his last three starts and given where they are in the standings, there’s really no reason to swap him out until his game tails off a bit.

Good news: the Flames are getting contributions from their secondary scorers – since the All-Star Break, Elias Lindholm has three even strength goals while Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane, Michael Frolik, Mark Jankowski, Derek Ryan and Austin Czarnik each have a pair. On the flip side, the trio of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk have combined for one even strength goal. Depth is good, but they’d probably be happier if their big guns woke up a bit.

The Islanders

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Lee – Nelson – Eberle
Kuhnhackl – Barzal – Bailey
Beauvillier – Filppula – Komarov
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Leddy – Boychuk
Pelech – Pulock
Toews – Mayfield

Thomas Greiss was first off at morning skate, so it seems like he plays tonight for the Isles and Robin Lehner goes tomorrow in Edmonton. The projected healthy scratches are Luca Sbisa and Ross Johnston.

You could be forgiven if you thought the Islanders would have an off year this season. They lost John Tavares to the Leafs in free agency, after all. But the Isles have had a fantastic season, playing a team game that emphasizes their speed and skill. They’ve won five of their last six games and are 6-2-1 since the All-Star Break.

This is the first game of a de facto mini playoff series; the teams play again on Long Island in a week. Considering the Flames have designs on making a long playoff run, a pair of games against one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams will be an interesting test for the team and its coaching staff.

The Numbers

CGY NYI
Wins 36 35
Points 79 76
Adjusted Corsi 52.6% 49.0%
Power Play 22.4% 16.2%
Penalty Kill 77.9% 80.3%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone and James Neal.

The Islanders are without Andrew Ladd and Thomas Hickey, though both are nearing returns.

Season Series

These teams haven’t played each other yet this season. They’ll close out the season series on Tuesday in the scenic Nassau Coliseum.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Islanders Twitter follows for tonight:

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