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Photo Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 29: The new normal (5pm MT, SN West)

After an eventful road trip, the Calgary Flames (12-12-4, 28 points) are back home for a little bit. They kick off a stretch of seven of their next nine games at home when they host the Ottawa Senators (11-14-1, 23 points), who played (and lost) last night.

This one begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and Sportsnet 360 and City TV) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Stone

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. The projected scratches are Alexander Yelesin and Zac Rinaldo. Travis Hamonic and Austin Czarnik skated with the full group on Friday, but won’t play tonight. The Flames don’t play again until Thursday, so using Rittich yet again might be connected to not wanting him to idle for the better part of a week.

It’s the first official game for Geoff Ward as Flames head coach, though he really should be credited with the win from Wednesday’s game in Buffalo considering he’s been running the team all week. Ward starts with a largely status quo group right now in terms of his pairs and lines, and it’ll be interesting to see if he begins to tweak things as the game goes along.

As for the gentlemen in their snazzy retro jerseys? They need to build on their last three games and keep things simple. They tend to get into trouble when they get too dang fancy with the puck.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Calgary’s last 5 games. – From OddsShark.com

The Senators

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Paul – Pageau – White
Tkachuk – L. Brown – Duclair
Namestnikov – Anisimov – C. Brown
Chlapik – Tierney – Ennis

Chabot – Hainsey
Borowiecki – Zaitsev
Brannstrom – DeMelo

Marcus Hogberg starts for Ottawa, backed up by Anders Nilsson. Friday’s scratches were Maxime Lajoie, Mikkel Boedker and J.C. Beaudin, and potentially a couple of them may rotate in given the back-to-back situation for the Senators.

The Senators lost 7-2 in Minnesota in Friday night. While they have been better lately, they’re still among the NHL’s struggling outfits. Their power play is among the worst in the NHL. They have some bright spots, but this is a winnable game for a Flames club trying to create some momentum.

Lost 7-2 in Minnesota on Friday night. PP is worst in NHL.

The Numbers

Flames Senators
Wins 12 11
Points 28 23
Adjusted Corsi 50.9% 47.7%
Power Play 15.9% 9.4%
Penalty Kill 85.3% 83.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without F Sam Bennett (upper body), D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and F Austin Czarnik (lower body). Czarnik is skating with the team and is nearing a return.

The Senators are missing F Marian Gaborik (back), D Cody Goloubef (undisclosed),  F Scott Sabourin (concussion), G Craig Anderson (lower body), F Jonathan Davidsson (lower body), D Christian Wolanin (shoulder), F Ryan Callahan (back), F Clarke McArthur (concussion) and F Bobby Ryan (personal).

When Last We Met

The Flames played Ottawa twice last season and beat them twice last season. Their last meeting was a 5-1 Flames win in Calgary back in March.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for today’s game: