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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames Game Day 37: Fending off the Blues (7pm MT, SN One)

Coming off a loss to the hated Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames (18-16-2, 42 points) face a big test in the red hot St. Louis Blues (25-11-5, 55 points) at the palatial Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The Blues have won eight of their last 10 outings and just hung a loss on the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night. Can the Flames find the mojo that helped them beat Florida last week?

This game gets going at 7 p.m. MT. You can catch the action on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

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

Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson

Jacob Markström starts, backed up by Dan Vladar. Michael Stone and Adam Ruzicka are the active extras, with Tyler Pitlick out day-to-day with an injury. With Stockton idle until the 29th, Byron Froese has been added to the taxi squad. The Flames haven’t really changed their lines up much over the past three games.

The Flames played well against Edmonton, but lost. They played well against Florida and Carolina, too, but they found ways to score against Florida. The challenge for the Flames these days is converting zone time into shot volume, and shot volume into dangerous chances. Head coach Darryl Sutter noted on Sunday that a lot of their shots hit Mikko Koskinen, with the implication being that they didn’t make the goalie make enough great saves.

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The Blues

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Schenn – O’Reilly – Perron
Buchnevich – Barbashev – Tarasenko
Saad – Thomas – Kyrou
Kostin – Bozak – Sundqvist

Mikkola – Parayko
Krug – Faulk
Scandella – Bortuzzo

Since it’s a back-to-back situation, Jordan Binnington likely starts with yesterday’s starter, Ville Husso, backing him up. Yesterday’s healthy scratches were Logan Brown, Scott Perunovich and Jake Walman. Calle Rosen, Dakota Joshua, (Forever a Flame) James Neal and Alexei Toropchenko are on the taxi squad.

The Blues are playing their second game in slightly less than 24 hours, having played an 8 p.m. MT start in Vancouver last night and won fairly handily despite getting out-shot by quite a bit. The Blues are a decent enough hockey club, but a lot of their holes are being covered up by some great puck luck: they’re sixth in the NHL in five-on-five shooting percentage and fifth in five-on-five save percentage, despite being sub-50% in expected goals and adjusted Corsi. At some point, they’re going to crash back down to Earth a bit.

The numbers

Calgary St. Louis
Wins 18 25
Points (%) 42 (.583) 55 (.671)
Adjusted Corsi For 55.3% 48.6%
Expected Goals For 53.2% 46.6%
Power Play 23.1% 29.4%
Penalty Kill 83.2% 85.3%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Tyler Pitlick.

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The Blues are healthy.

When last we met

The Flames haven’t played St. Louis in two years – they lost that game 5-4 at the ‘Dome. In fact, the Flames have lost their last four games against the Blues, with their last win coming in December 2018.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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