FGD 67: The house always wins (8:30pm MT, SN1)

Losers of two in a row, the local sporting club will attempt to get into the win column in a building that’s flummoxed them to date.

The Calgary Flames (41-18-7, 89 points) make the trek down to Sin City to visit the Vegas Golden Knights (36-26-5, 77 points). The Flames have visited T-Mobile Arena three times and have lost all three visits (by a combined 13-3 margin). Can they finally win out, or will the house continue their hot streak against the visitors?

Put on some coffee, as it’s a late start! The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. It’s probably not a shock to learn that the Flames are a -145 underdog (courtesy of Oddshark’s money line).

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Hamonic
Brodie – Prout

Since it’s a back-to-back situation, David Rittich starts in Vegas (with Mike Smith likely going Thursday night against Arizona). The projected scratches are Oscar Fantenberg, Oliver Kylington and Curtis Lazar.

The Flames are in an unusual situation: they’ve lost twice in a row. That said, they were pretty good for much of their games against Minnesota and Toronto, but couldn’t bury their chances (and it cost them). If they can maintain their strong puck possession play and just rediscover their killer instinct, they should be well on their way to getting some victories.

The Flames enter play with a magic number of 6.5 (wins and Arizona losses) to clinch a playoff spot, 9.5 (wins and Vegas losses) to clinch home ice in the first round and 15 (wins and San Jose losses) to clinch the Pacific Division and top seed in the Western Conference.

The Golden Knights

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Pacioretty – Stastny – Stone
Pirri – Eakin – Tuch
Carpenter – Bellemare – Reaves

Schmidt – Engelland
McNabb – Theodore
Merrill – Miller

Marc-Andre Fleury starts for Vegas, backed up by Malcolm Subban. The projected scratches are Valentin Zykov, Nick Holden, William Carrier and Tomas Nosek.

The Golden Knights have won four games in a row, and they haven’t given up a goal in the month of March – a span of 141:42 dating back to the third period of their 6-5 win over Florida on Feb. 28. After playing some uneven hockey, they’ve found their stride again. They’re a deep, confident team that thrives at T-Mobile Arena with a rather partisan crowd.

Vegas is quite good, and expect them to play the Flames tough and treat this as if it were a playoff game.

The Numbers

Wins 41 36
Points 89 77
Adjusted Corsi 53.4% 54.5%
Power Play 22.2% 17.4%
Penalty Kill 79.2% 81.2%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone and James Neal.

The Golden Knights are without Erik Haula.

Season Series

This is round two of their four game season series. So far, the home team has won every game: Calgary won 7-2 and Vegas won 2-0 (with the games just four days apart). They’ll conclude their regular season meetings in four days in Calgary.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Golden Knights Twitter follows for tonight:

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