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Calgary Flames Game Day 2: On the road in the Steel City (5pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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After a win to kick off the regular season on Wednesday night, the Calgary Flames (1-0-0, 2 points) are headed on the road for 10 days and five games for a trip that could really get their season going. Their first stop on this trek is in the Steel City, where they’ll visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (1-1-0, 2 points). The Penguins are playing their second game in as many nights, which could bode well or poorly for the Flames depending on your perspective.
The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Ruzicka – Kadri – Dube
Coleman – Backlund – Coronato
Greer – Sharangovich
– Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Tanev
Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by Daniel Vladar. The expected extras are Dryden Hunt and Jordan Oesterle.
The Flames have shuffled their lines up a bit: Andrew Mangiapane stays on the top line after being swapped mid-game on Wednesday, with Dillon Dube moving to Nazem Kadri’s line and Matt Coronato moving to play with Mikael Backlund. Adam Ruzicka and Yegor Sharangovich also swap spots, with Sharangovich moving to centre. If nothing else, the lines look like they have some balance heading into the road trip. On the back end, Dennis Gilbert looks to slide into Oesterle’s spot.
The Flames weren’t great with the puck at five-on-five against Winnipeg, but they did enough good things at key times – and got great goaltending – and managed to win. The Flames will need to be better and look more connected and coherent, especially in their own zone. The Flames’ systems are still a work in progress, but what’s better than a lengthy road trip to force them to tidy things up in a hurry?
But playing against a power play that boasts the likes of Erik Karlsson, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, maybe try to avoid taking too many penalties.

The Penguins

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Smith – Malkin – Rakell
O’Connor – Eller – Harkins
Nieto – Acciari – Carter
Graves – Letang
Pettersson – Karlsson
Joseph – Ruhwedel
Tristan Jarry started in Washington and posted a goose-egg. We’re thinking backup Alex Nedeljkovic will probably start against Calgary, but Jarry only faced 19 Capitals shot so there’s a chance he might go again. The extras on Friday night were blueliners Ryan Shea and John Ludvig.
The Penguins out-shot Washington 35-19 on Friday, beating them 4-0 and out-playing them fairly consistently. It was a nice bounce-back from their loss against Chicago on opening night. We’ll see which version of the Penguins show up at home against the Flames.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Penguins are healthy.

The numbers

FlamesPenguins
1Wins1
2 (1.000)Points (%)2 (.500)
18.6%xGF%53.2%
33.3%PP%40.0%
100%PK%100%

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these clubs this season. They’ll meet again in Calgary at the beginning of March.

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