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Calgary Flames Game Day 16: A clash with the high-flying Canucks (7pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
3 months ago
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After going 1-1-1 on their last road trip, the Calgary Flames (5-8-2, 12 points) are back home and face a pretty big test in the form of the Vancouver Canucks (12-3-1, 25 points). The Flames have been playing much better lately, and seem to potentially have momentum for the first time all season. They host the Canucks, who’ve had momentum all season and are one of the NHL’s biggest success stories.
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are -120 favourites to beat the Canucks on Betway.
For a look from the other side, head on over to Canucks Army!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Ruzicka – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Sharangovich – Dube – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – DeSimone
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. Markstrom was flat-out excellent against Montreal in his return from a brief injury. The projected extras are Dennis Gilbert and A.J. Greer.
Since the Heritage Classic loss to Edmonton, the Flames have gone 3-2-1 and have generally played pretty well. They’re coming off a strong game against Montreal where they stuck to their guns and their style and played arguably their most consistent 60 minutes of hockey of the season – their typical big lull was absent. If the Flames want to succeed against a tough Canucks side, they’ll need to play another consistent, reliable game.
This is the first of 13 games this season featuring the club’s black (“Blasty”) alternate jersey.

The Canucks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Mikheyev – Pettersson – Kuzmenko
Di Giuseppe – Miller – Boeser
Joshua – Blueger – Garland
Hoglander – Rafferty – Beauvillier
Hughes – Juulsen
Cole – Hronek
Friedman – Myers
It’s the second half of a back-to-back for Vancouver. Casey DeSmith starts in net, backed up by Thatcher Demko (who was in net against the Islanders on Wednesday). Wednesday’s extras were Pius Suter and Akito Hirose, so we’ll see if either rotate in.
Let’s not dress it up too much, friends: the Canucks are really, really good. The additions they made in the off-season have worked out nicely, and a lot of their key pieces are impressing. If you look at the top of the NHL’s offensive leaderboards, you’ll see J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes as the top three in points. They’re good in all three zones at even strength and their power play is scary-good.
The schedule helps out the Flames here given Vancouver’s playing a back-to-back, but the locals will need to be at their very best to get points out of a game against the Canucks.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Canucks are without Tucker Poolman, Guillaume Brisebois and Carson Soucy.

The numbers

FlamesCanucks
5Wins12
12 (.400)Points (%)25 (.781)
51.3%
(12th)
xGF%46.8%
(26th)
14.0%
(26th)
PP%33.3%
(2nd)
88.0%
(4th)
PK%75.0%
(24th)

Head to head

This is the first of four meetings between these teams this season. They meet again at the ‘Dome in December, and then head to Vancouver in mid-March and mid-April.

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