Welcome to whatever’s left of the regular season.
After a big win last night, the Calgary Flames (49-23-7, 105 points) head to SoCal to visit the Los Angeles Kings (44-25-9, 97 points). The Flames cannot move in the standings. They’re locked into first place and will face the second wildcard team. So expect them to rest some key players from here on out.
The puck drops at 8 p.m. on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as a slight (-175) favourite on OddsShark’s moneyline.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Frolik – Quine – Czarnik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Fantenberg – Andersson
Valimaki – Stone
Kylington – Prout
Here’s what we think we know about the lineup, given that there’s no morning skate. David Rittich will start, backed up by Mike Smith. But the rest of the lineup will feature some changes (based on a Brad Treliving radio appearance this morning on Sportsnet 960 The Fan):
- Out are Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Noah Hanifin, Travis Hamonic, Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk
- In are Oliver Kylington, Juuso Valimaki, Michael Stone, Oscar Fantenberg, Sam Bennett and Alan Quine
The Flames are in “try not to get any significant injuries before the playoffs” mode. They’re first in the West and destined to stay that way. Don’t expect this to be a particularly hard-fought match, but it could be a game where we learn a few things about the team’s depth players.
Last night’s lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Grundstrom – Kempe – Toffoli
Clifford – Carter – Lewis
Wagner – Amadio – Kovalchuk
Forbort – Doughty
Martinez – Roy
Walker – MacDermid
Jonathan Quick is expected to start, backed up by Jack Campbell. The extra bodies for the Kings look to be Dion Phaneuf, Paul LaDue and Johny Brodzinski.
The Kings are second-last in the NHL and just trying to get through the rest of the season. They’re evaluating some of their young bodies from the AHL, but otherwise are just trying to lose with dignity.
The Flames are without Sam Bennett, but he’s expected to return tonight.
The Kings are without Brendan Leipsic.
This is the final regular season game between these two teams. The Flames have won two of the previous three meetings – the lone Kings win was in Calgary last week when Jack Campbell made 42 saves.
Know Thy Enemy
Your Kings Twitter follows for tonight:
FGD brought to you by ATB Financial
From peewee to the pros, Albertans love the atmosphere, energy, and life lessons that take place at rinks across the province. And where there’s an arena, you’ll find an ATB branch nearby—with our team members cheering and fundraising along with you. See more information at ATB.com.