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FGD 24: High hopes (for a goal) (7pm MT, SN1/360)

The Calgary Flames (10-10-3, 23 points) are in the midst of a four game losing skid. They haven’t scored a goal in six and a half periods of hockey. And they’re back home for one game, facing a Colorado Avalanche (12-6-1, 26 points) team that ate their lunch both in the playoffs and in the season opener. Best of luck, local sports club.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Backlund – Lindholm
Mangiapane – Monahan – Tkachuk
Dube – Ryan – Lucic
Rinaldo – Jankowski – Frolik

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Stone
Kylington – Davidson

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. The Flames are missing Travis Hamonic, TJ Brodie and Sam Bennett tonight. They are carrying no healthy extra bodies right now. So welcome Zac Rinaldo to the NHL (from Stockton, swapped with Tobias Rieder) and Brandon Davidson to the Flames after being scratched for several games. Rinaldo will give them some grit, but I’m not sure anyone’s emotionally ready for Michael Stone, Top Four Defender.

The Flames have not played great lately. They haven’t scored a goal in 130:03 (or 73 shots) and desperately need to score first in this game to give themselves some confidence and momentum. The last thing these guys want to do is chase, especially with a team that has had their number for much of the past year or so.

The Avalanche

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Donskoi – MacKinnon – Burakovsky
Nieto – Kadri – Compher
Nichuskin – Bellemare – Megna
Tynan – Kamenev – O’Connor

Girard – Johnson
Graves – Makar
Zadorov – Cole

Philipp Grubauer will start tonight, backed up by Pavel Francouz. Their extra defender is Mark Barberio. Logan O’Connor has been summoned from the AHL’s Colorado Eagles for the purposes of filling Matt Calvert’s lineup spot. AJ Greer has also been called up and he’ll likely be their healthy scratch, unless Pierre-Edouard Bellemare can’t go due to illness.

The Avalanche have done two things lately: lost key pieces of the lineup to injury, and win hockey games. They’ve seen Nikita Zadorov and Matt Calvert takes pucks to the head in recent weeks, but they somehow just keep figuring out ways to win. Some of it is depth, some of it is strong coaching.

Either way, the Flames will have their hands full tonight.

The Numbers

Flames Avalanche
Wins 10 12
Points 23 26
Adjusted Corsi 51.2% 49.9%
Power Play 17.3% 19.1%
Penalty Kill 85.5% 77.8%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D TJ Brodie (fainting episode), D Travis Hamonic (lower body), F Sam Bennett (upper body), D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and F Austin Czarnik (lower body).

The Avalanche are missing F Mikko Rantenen (lower body), F Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), F Colin Wilson (lower body), F Tyson Jost (upper body) and F Matt Calvert (head).

When Last We Met

The Flames played Colorado in the season-opener. It did not go well and the Flames lost.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: