FGD 20: The champs are here (8pm MT, CBC)

On Thursday, the Calgary Flames (10-7-2, 22 points) played their most complete game of the season. They hope to build on it tonight when they host the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues (11-3-3, 25 points), a team that has flummoxed the Flames at times over the past few seasons.

The action kicks off at 8 p.m. MT on CBC (simulcast on Sportsnet West, 360, One and City TV) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk
Quine – Ryan – Bennett
Lucic – Jankowski – Rieder

Giordano – Hamonic
Hanifin – Andersson
Brodie – Stone

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. The projected scratches are Brandon Davidson and Michael Frolik. Sam Bennett missed Friday’s practice after blocking a shot against New Jersey, but he skated on Saturday morning and is expected to play. The lineup is identical to what they went with on Thursday.

The Flames are coming off their most complete game of the season, where they pulled away from the Devils midway through the game. The big challenge for them will be building upon it when they face a team that is, all due respect, much better than the Devils.

Keep an eye on the special teams battle, as this game pits the Flames’ third-best penalty kill versus the Blues’ fourth-best power play.

The Blues

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Schwartz – Schenn – Thomas
Sanford – O’Reilly – Perron
de la Rose – Bozak – Blais
MacEachern – Barbashev – Sundqvist

Gunnarsson – Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester – Parayko
Dunn – Faulk

Jordan Binnington starts for the Blues, backed up by Jake Allen. Based on the guesswork lines, it sounds like Robert Bortuzzo will be the extra body.

There’s often chatter about a Stanley Cup hangover, but the Blues have bucked that this season. They’ve missed a few bodies, but they keep playing their game, minding their own house, and rolling along. And that focus on themselves makes them a perpetually dangerous club.

The Numbers

Flames Blues
Wins 10 11
Points 22 25
Adjusted Corsi 51.8% 48.8%
Power Play 18.8% 25.9%
Penalty Kill 88.4% 80.8%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and F Austin Czarnik (lower body).

The Blues are missing F Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) and F Alexander Steen (upper body).

When Last We Met

The Blues beat the Flames in two of three meetings last season. Their last game was back on Dec. 22 when the “lowly” (at the time) Blues edged out the Flames by a 3-1 score in Calgary.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: