Roughly 19 and a half hours after a home win, the local hockey heroes are on the road against a tough conference opponent.
The Calgary Flames (44-19-7, 95 points) head east to visit the Winnipeg Jets (41-25-4, 86 points). The Flames won last night at home against the New York Rangers, and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory. It’s the top team in the Pacific Division facing off with the top team in the Central Division!
The puck drops at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are a slight (+123) underdog per Oddshark’s moneyline.
For a view from the other side, check out our friends at JetsNation.
Guesswork projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Ryan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik
Mangiapane – Quine – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
There’s no morning skate so the lines are a bit of a mystery, friends.
Mike Smith starts tonight, backed up by David Rittich – the Flames have split every other back-to-back situation this season, save for a couple when Jon Gillies was the backup. Sean Monahan is unavailable for the game due to illness, James Neal won’t play (as he’s only had one skate with the group), so Alan Quine slots in at forward and Michael Stone returns to the lineup. The Flames will roll with 11 forwards and seven defenders, but it’s unclear who else comes out aside from Monahan.
Update: All indications from our media colleagues are Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan are out, while Alan Quine and Michael Stone are in.
The Flames enter play with a magic number of 0.5 (wins and Minnesota losses) to clinch a playoff spot, 5.5 (wins and Vegas losses) to clinch home ice in the first round and 11 (wins and San Jose losses) to clinch the Pacific Division and top seed in the Western Conference.
The @TBLightning can lock up the No. 1 seed in their division/conference, while the @NHLFlames and @SanJoseSharks aim to clinch spots in the 2019 #StanleyCup Playoffs. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/mo2kTtbrGc
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 16, 2019
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Laine – Scheifele – Wheeler
Connor – Hayes – Ehlers
Tanev – Lowry – Little
Perreault – Copp – Roslovic
Beaulieu – Trouba
Kulikov – Myers
Chiarot – Niku
Connor Hellebuck starts for the Jets, backed up by 2011 Flames draft pick Laurent Brossoit. The projected healthy extra bodies are Matt Hendricks, Par Lindholm and Bogdan Kiselevich.
Are the Jets an unstoppable juggernaut this season? Well, no. They’ve had a ton of injuries and haven’t been clicking on all cylinders for much of this season. Heck, they’ve alternated wins and losses for the most part since the trade deadline. But they’re comfortably in first place in the Central despite all these headaches. Imagine how good they could be – or will be – once they get all their ducks in a row.
The Flames are without James Neal.
The Jets are without Dustin Byfuglien, Joe Morrow and Josh Morrissey.
This is the third and final regular season meeting between the Flames and Jets. The Flames have won each of the previous two games and are looking for the series sweep.
Their next regular season meeting will be in October at Regina’s Mosiac Stadium.
Know Thy Enemy
Your Jets Twitter follows for tonight:
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