It’s a potential elimination game in Texas. The Calgary Flames (3-2; 1st place, Pacific Division) head back to the heart of Texas to play the Dallas Stars (2-3; 1st wildcard seed, Western Conference) in Game 6 of their best-of-seven series. The stakes are pretty clear; the Flames can advance to the second round with a victory, while the Stars need to win to force a deciding Game 7 on Sunday night. Can the Flames close the lid on the Stars?
The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. MT. You can catch the game on CBC and Sportnet’s national feed in Canada (with Rick Ball and Greg Millen), TNT in the United States (with Brendan Burke and Shane Hnidy), and over the airwaves on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias)!
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Johnny Gaudreau – Elias Lindholm – Matthew Tkachuk
Andrew Mangiapane – Mikael Backlund – Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube – Calle Jarnkrok – Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic – Trevor Lewis – (Brett Ritchie or rotating)
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington – Chris Tanev
Nikita Zadorov – Erik Gudbranson
Jacob Markstrom [3-2, 1.21 GAA, .952 SV%] starts in net, backed up by Daniel Vladar. The scratches are expected to be goaltender Adam Werner, blueliner Connor Mackey, and forwards Ryan Carpenter and Adam Ruzicka, and either Michael Stone or Brett Ritchie. Once again, head coach Darryl Sutter offered zero hints regarding whether the team makes any lineup changes, so we’re presuming that they’ll go with the same 11 forwards/seven blueliner configuration that led to wins in Games 4 and 5.
The Flames have generally played fairly well in this series, but four of their past six periods (all of Game 4 and the third period of Game 5) have been just excellent. They’ll obviously need to weather the storm early against a desperate Stars team, but they’ve shown the ability to defend well and counter-punch in this series. One more good effort will earn them a date with Edmonton or Los Angeles next week.
Nine players that we expect to play for the Flames tonight haven’t won a best-of-seven series in the NHL: Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Erik Gudbranson, Michael Stone, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane. Keep your eyes out for Lindholm and Mangiapane in particular: if either of them have a big game, it could be huge for the Flames’ hopes of advancing.
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Michael Raffl – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
Jason Robertson – Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin
Jacob Peterson – Vladislav Namestnikov – Marian Studenic
Joel Kiviranta – Radek Faksa – Luke Glendening
Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell – John Klingberg
Joel Hanley – Jani Hakanpaa
Jake Oettinger [2-3, 1.63 GAA, .956 SV%] starts for the Stars, backed up by Scott Wedgewood. The scratches are expected to be goalie Adam Scheel, defencemen Andrej Sekera and Thomas Harley, and forwards Alexander Radulov and Denis Gurianov (plus a whole slew of Black Aces recalled from the AHL’s Texas Stars). There appear to be no changes from their Game 5 lineup.
It’s hard to really criticize the Stars too much for their performances in the first five games of this series. They’ve been good, but the Flames have been better at key times. Dallas head coach Rick Bowness put it succinctly after Game 5: the Flames had another gear they kicked their game into in the third period, and Dallas couldn’t match it. Expect the Stars to rely on the same style of play that’s brought them thus far. They’ll try to score first, keep the Flames to the outside of the ice, and grind the game out.
If this turns into a game with a lot of scoring chances, that’ll play into the Flames’ hands.
|Adjusted Corsi For||60.8%||39.2%|
|Expected Goals For||58.4%||41.6%|
Unfit to play
The Flames are without Sean Monahan.
The Stars are without Braden Holtby.
When last we met
The Flames won two out of three meetings in the regular season – their lone loss was in overtime – and they’ve won three out of five meetings in the post-season.
Know thy enemy
Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:
PointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get more details right here!
- Five takeaways from the Calgary Flames’ Game 5 victory over the Dallas Stars
- Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom named finalist for Vezina Trophy
- WATCH: Gaudreau strikes on a penalty shot to put Flames up 2–0 in Dallas