FGD R1-G3: A rematch in Denver (8pm MT, CBC)

After a split in Calgary, the Flames and Avalanche head to Denver.

Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche

Game 3 of the Best-of-Seven Western Conference Quarterfinal
Series is tied 1-1
Puck Drop: 8 p.m. MT
Radio: Sportsnet 960 The Fan
Odds: The Flames are moderate (-230) favourites, via OddsShark.

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The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Brodie

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Mike Smith starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. Their projected scratches appear to be Jon Gillies, Oliver Kylington, Juuso Valimaki, Dalton Prout, Michael Stone, Dillon Dube, Alan Quine and Austin Czarnik.

The only big change for the Flames tonight is Rasmus Andersson will start the game paired with Mark Giordano on the top pair. TJ Brodie, who struggled with puck management in Game 2, plays with Oscar Fantenberg. Expect to see lots of defensive zone starts for Mikael Backlund and Derek Ryan’s lines, while Sean Monahan’s group will see a lot of offensive zone high ground. With Colorado at home with last change, the chess match of line matching will be fascinating to keep an eye on.

The Flames haven’t been great in their first two games. They’ll need to return to form against an Avalanche group that’s feeling more and more confident in their ability to go toe-to-toe with the Western Conference’s top team.

The Avalanche

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Landeskog – MacKinnon – Kerfoot
Wilson – Soderberg – Rantanen
Nieto – Compher – Jost
Andrighetto – Calvert – Bourque

Cole – Johnson
Zadorov – Barrie
Makar – Nemeth

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Philipp Grubauer goes for the Avalanche, backed up by Semyon Varlamov. Their projected scratches are Pavel Francouz, Dominic Toninato, Ryan Graves and Mark Barberio. It appears that Samuel Girard will miss Game 3 after leaving Game 2 during overtime after a hit from Sam Bennett. Cale Makar, newly minted Hobey Baker Award winner, will make his NHL debut in Girard’s place.

Update: Derick Brassard is sick, so Sven Andrighetto plays in his place and the bottom six is shuffled up a bit. (We’ve put in our best guess.)

As noted before the Avalanche get last change, so it’ll be interesting to see if they try to give the MacKinnon line the tougher match-ups against the Flames’ top two lines or if they try to isolate the Jankowski line and/or the third defensive pairing, as they’re arguably Calgary’s weaker links.

The Officials

Tonight’s referees are Jean Hebert and Steve Kozari. The linesmen are Bryan Pancich and Steve Barton, and the standby officials are Tom Chmielewski (referee) and Brandon Gawryletz (linesman). The series supervisor is Bill McCreary. All of the officials involved in tonight’s game, even the standbys, are new to the series.

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The Numbers

Wins 1 1
Adjusted Corsi 45.0% 55.0%
Power Play 30.0% 0.0%
Penalty Kill 100% 70.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are healthy.

The Avalanche are without Vladislav Kamenev.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Avalanche Twitter follows for tonight:

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  • HowToActuallyMakeTheFlamesWin

    This IS The Lineup Calgary Needs To Play To Win The Next Game 4, Listen and WIN or Ignore and Lose, The definition of insanity is the doing the same thing over and expecting different results.

    Gaudreau – Tkachuk – Bennett

    Neal – Monahan – Frolik

    Mangiapane – Backlund – Lindholm

    Jankowski – Ryan – Hathaway

    Giordano – Hamonic
    Hanifin – Andersson
    Valimaki – Brodie