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Calgary Flames Game Day 22: The Stanley Cup champions visit from Vegas (7:30pm MT)

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Photo credit:© Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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The Calgary Flames (8-10-3, 19 points) spent the last week on the road, playing four games and going 2-2-0. They’re hoping to continue what’s been a pretty productive month of November, but they’ll face a stiff test in the form of the Vegas Golden Knights (14-5-2, 30 points), the defending Stanley Cup champions. It’s the third game of a really tough 15 game stretch for the Flames that lasts until their holiday break.
The broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are -105 (very slight) underdogs to beat the Golden Knights on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Sharangovich – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Gilbert
We’re projected Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. Their projected extra is Walker Duehr. Aside from previous healthy scratch Nick DeSimone returning to the AHL, we don’t anticipate any actual lineup changes for the Flames.
Over the past month, the Flames have gone 6-4-2. (That’s good!) Their overall goal differential is a respectable, if unspectacular, +6. But their power play is converting on 8.3% of their advantages (that’s really bad) and their penalty kill is killing off 78.4% of opposition advantages (that’s about average).
The Flames are good enough hockey club that they can usually go toe-to-toe with other teams at five-on-five and come out even. But to win games, they need more from their special teams units.

The Golden Knights

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Barbashev – Eichel – Marchessault
Howden – Stephenson – Stone
Cotter – Karlsson – Amadio
Carrier – Roy – Kolesar
McNabb – Whitecloud
Hague – Pietrangelo
Hutton – Pachal
We’re projecting Adin Hill to start, backed up by Logan Thompson. Their projected extras are Michael Amadio and Kaedan Korczak.
On one hand, the Golden Knights are (like the Flames) coming off a loss on Saturday night. But while the Flames are 2-2-0 in their last four outings, Vegas is 1-2-1. On a longer look, Vegas has been doing their version of struggling lately alternating wins and losses for the last little while. But they got off to such a tremendous start to their season – their first regulation loss was in their 13th game – that they had a ton of breathing room in which to “struggle.”
Vegas is a very, very good hockey club that’s always capable of taking over a game. The Flames will need to be sharp from the opening face-off if they want to get a couple points out of this contest.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Golden Knights are without Robin Lehner, Daniil Miromanov, Alec Martinez and Shea Theodore.

The numbers

FlamesGolden Knights
8Wins14
19 (.452)Points (%)30 (.714)
51.2%
(12th)
xGF%50.8%
(14th)
11.8%
(27th)
PP%21.6%
(14th)
84.3%
(11th)
PK%85.9%
(6th)

Head to head

This is the first of four times these teams will play each other in 2023-24. They meet again in Vegas in December and January, and then close things out in mid-March back in Calgary.

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