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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 4: A brunch game in Washington, D.C. (11am MT, SN West)

A day and a half after capturing their first victory of the season, the Calgary Flames (1-1-1, 3 points) are back in action! This time, it’s a brunch-time game against the Washington Capitals (3-0-1, 7 points). The Capitals are undefeated in regulation, while the Flames have played their systems fairly well through three games. Can they bottle up one of the NHL’s most potent offensive clubs?

The puck drops a little bit after 11 a.m. MT and you can catch the action on television via Sportsnet West (with Rick Ball and Cassie Campbell-Pascall) or on radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias). Grab some brunch and enjoy some early hockey!

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The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Mangiapane – Dube – Ritchie
Coleman – Backlund – Pitlick
Lucic – Monahan – Lewis

Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Välimäki – Gudbranson

Dan Vladar makes his first start with the Flames, backed up by Jacob Markström. The projected scratches look to be Brad Richardson, Michael Stone and Nikita Zadorov.

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Don’t expect any changes for the Flames from a group that beat Detroit 3-0 on Thursday evening. They were on their heels for much of the second period, but if they can avoid taking penalties they’ve shown the ability to play a smart, structured five-on-five game.

Keep an eye on the Backlund line: he’s been the Flames’ defensive forward MVP over the years and if Blake Coleman and Tyler Pitlick can knock their rust off and build some chemistry, that trio could be really, really useful in a lot of game situations.

The Capitals

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Mantha – Eller – Sprong
Sheary – McMichael – Oshie
Hagelin – Dowd – Hathaway

Fehervary – Carlson
Orlov – Jensen
van Riemsdyk – Schultz

There’s no word yet on the starter for the Capitals in net, but Vitek Vanecek has started three of the first four games this season (the fourth went to Ilya Samsonov). Based on Vanecek not being super busy on Thursday, we’re leaning towards him. The projected extras for Washington are Hendrix Lapierre, Dennis Cholowski and Matt Irwin.

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Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov are averaging two points per game so far. The club is missing Nicklas Backstrom from their lineup, but they’ve definitely gotten enough production that they’re not lost without him.

The numbers

Calgary Washington
Wins 1 3
Points (%) 3 (.500) 7 (.875)
Adjusted Corsi For 58.2% 55.7%
Expected Goals For 56.5% 53.4%
Power Play 11.1% 18.8%
Penalty Kill 66.7% 72.7%

Unfit to play

The Flames are now fully healthy.

The Capitals are without Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

When last we met

The Flames played Washington twice in 2019-20, losing both games. They haven’t beaten the Capitals since 2017.

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Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest: