FGD 71: Looking for points against the Rangers (7pm MT, SN West)

The local hockey club hopes to inch closer towards clinching a playoff spot tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Calgary Flames (43-19-7, 93 points) host the New York Rangers (27-28-13, 69 points). The Flames are battling with the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division (and Western Conference) lead and can use all the points they can get.

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The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are a heavy (-310) 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

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David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith. The expected scratches are Oliver Kylington, Dalton Prout, Michael Stone and Alan Quine. No changes are expected from a team that put up nine goals on New Jersey on Tuesday night.

The Flames played an uneven game on Tuesday. They were sloppy defensively and couldn’t execute offensively for the first 40 minutes. Then they seemingly went “Alright, we’re going to win on them now,” and then they scored six goals and won the game. The Flames have the capacity to be a dangerous team if they set their minds to it.

The Flames enter play with a magic number of 1.5 (wins and Minnesota losses) to clinch a playoff spot, 6.5 (wins and Vegas losses) to clinch home ice in the first round and 12 (wins and San Jose losses) to clinch the Pacific Division and top seed in the Western Conference.

The Rangers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Namestnikov – Zibanejad – Chytil
Kreider – Strome – Fast
Lemieux – Howden – Buchnevich
Vesey – Andersson – Nieves

Staal – Pionk
Smith – Skjei
DeAngelo – Shattenkirk

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With the Rangers functionally alternating starts down the stretch, young Alexander Georgiev likely starts for the Rangers and is backed up by Henrik Lundqvist – hockey’s handsomest man. The projected scratches are Connor Brickley and Frederik Claesson.

The Rangers have lost both games so far on their road trip. Since the calendar flipped over to March, they’ve lost six of the seven games they’ve played. They shipped out some key pieces at the trade deadline and are preparing for a big off-season.

That is to say, this should be a winnable game for the Flames if they play like they did in the third period against New Jersey.

The Numbers

Wins 43 28
Points 93 69
Adjusted Corsi 53.5% 45.8%
Power Play 21.9% 19.4%
Penalty Kill 79.7% 78.3%

Injury Report

The Flames are without James Neal.

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The Rangers are without Libor Hajek.

Season Series

This is the second and final meeting between these clubs this season. The Flames won 4-1 in Madison Square Garden back in October.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Rangers Twitter follows for tonight:

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