Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 70: The Devils visit Calgary (7pm MT, SN West)

One of the National Hockey League’s cellar-dwellers visits the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight.

In the midst of a battle for the Pacific Division lead, the Calgary Flames (42-19-7, 91 points) host the New Jersey Devils (25-35-9, 59 points). With 13 games to go, the Flames will likely be neck-and-neck with the San Jose Sharks for the division crown until the bitter end. Tonight is a prime opportunity to grab some points.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are a massive (-390) favourite per Oddshark’s moneyline.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith. The expected scratches are Oliver Kylington, Dalton Prout, Michael Stone and Alan Quine. Stone was recalled yesterday, but he won’t play right away. It’s the same configuration of Flames that beat Vegas on Sunday evening.

The Flames enter play with a magic number of 4 (wins and Minnesota losses) to clinch a playoff spot, 7.5 (wins and Vegas losses) to clinch home ice in the first round and 14 (wins and San Jose losses) to clinch the Pacific Division and top seed in the Western Conference. They’re playing a beatable team that’s beginning a lengthy western swing, so they absolutely need to play their game, get some points and try to keep pace with the Sharks.

The Devils

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Coleman – Zajac – Palmieri
Agostino – Rooney – Stafford
Tangradi – McLeod – Anderson
Lappin – Pietila – Noesen

Greene – Severson
Butcher – Carrick
Yakovlev – Santini

MacKenzie Blackwood starts for New Jersey, backed up by Cory Schneider – they’re alternating starts. Their extra bodies look to be Nathan Bastian, John Quenneville, Colton White and Kurtis Gabriel. Between injuries and trying to keep their formerly-injured players somewhat healthy, the Devils are carrying a lot of players right now.

The Devils enter play tonight 20 points out of a playoff spot and have lost six in a row. They’re playing out the string and trying to evaluate some of their younger players. They’re a scrappy bunch with some pretty good youngsters, but they’re also decimated by injuries to the point where Kenny Agostino is playing on their first line.

The Numbers

Wins 42 25
Points 91 59
Adjusted Corsi 53.3% 46.6%
Power Play 21.9% 17.6%
Penalty Kill 79.5% 83.8%

Injury Report

The Flames are without James Neal.

The Devils are without Taylor Hall, Sami Vatanen, Miles Wood, Mirco Mueller, Taylor Hall, Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt.

Season Series

This is the second and final meeting between these clubs this season. The Flames beat the Devils in New Jersey last month.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Devils Twitter follows for tonight:

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