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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 63: On Long Island (5pm MT, SN West)

For the second time in a week, two of the National Hockey League’s top teams will clash – this time at the historic Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

In their first outings since the trade deadline, the Calgary Flames (39-16-7, 85 points) will try to inch closer to a playoff berth when they visit the New York Islanders (36-18-7, 79 points). A week ago the Flames won 4-2 in Calgary; can they compete the sweep?

The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Hamonic
Brodie – Prout

Mike Smith starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich (who’ll likely start on Wednesday night against New Jersey). The projected scratches are Oscar Fantenberg and Curtis Lazar. Oliver Kylington is back on the sidelines as he recovers from blocking a shot last week, so Dalton Prout comes in tonight. Fantenberg is expected to play tomorrow in New Jersey.

The Flames made one minor swap yesterday, adding Fantenberg from the Kings. The move is, in essence, an endorsement of the players and the coach – and their collective performance this season so far. Let’s be honest here: the Flames are in second place overall and in a position to make a push for their first division crown in over a decade.

This is essentially the back half of a mini-series with the Islanders. Both teams have a fresh image of each other in their minds and each coaching staff will be able to game plan more clearly than they did last week. The Islanders have last change. This will be a very interesting test of just how good the Flames can be given that the Isles will be determining match-ups.

The Islanders

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Anders – Nelson – Eberle
Ladd – Barzal – Komarov
Beauvillier – Filppula – Bailey
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Leddy – Boychuk
Pelech – Pulock
Hickey – Toews

Coming off a shutout win over the Canucks, Robin Lehner starts for the Islanders (backed up by Thomas Greiss). Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg, Scott Mayfield, Tom Kuhnhackl and Ross Johnston are the likely healthy scratches.

Like the Flames, the Islanders weren’t busy before the trade deadline. Heck, the current Metropolitan Division leaders made precisely zero moves (aside from signing Dennis Seidenberg to a contract) – and haven’t made a trade since July, when they acquired Matt Martin. But they haven’t really needed to, as the players they have had really slotted in nicely with Barry Trotz’s system.

The Numbers

CGY NYI
Wins 39 36
Points 85 79
Adjusted Corsi 53.0% 48.5%
Power Play 22.1% 16.9%
Penalty Kill 78.7% 80.3%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone and James Neal.

The Islanders are without Thomas Hickey and Andrew Ladd.

Season Series

This is the second and final game between these two clubs this season. The Flames beat the Islanders in Calgary last week.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Islanders Twitter follows for tonight:

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