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Calgary Flames Game Day 25: A Tuesday night meeting with Minnesota (7pm MT)

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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After a couple days off, the Calgary Flames (10-11-3, 23 points) kick off the second half of their six-game homestand on Tuesday night with a chance to climb back to the .500 mark. But they’ll face an interesting challenge in the form of the Minnesota Wild (8-10-4, 20 points), a team they’ve traditionally had challenges against in this type of situation.
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. This game is basically a coin-toss, with both teams at -110 odds on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Sharangovich – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Zary – Kadri – Dube
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Solovyov – Oesterle
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. Per Pat Steinberg at an optional morning skate, sounds like Dennis Gilbert and Martin Pospisil come out and Ilya Solovyov and Walker Duehr come in. The big news is the absence of Jacob Markstrom, but it seems likely that given the loss against Vancouver we might have seen Vladar in net here regardless.
The Flames are now five games into a 15-game span of tough games, right after another, that we’re affectionately calling “the Gauntlet.” They’ve won three of the five, with the two losses being Colorado (in the second half of a back-to-back) and a close loss on Saturday against Vancouver. In theory, Minnesota is the “easy” opponent in this span… and that makes them very dangerous.
It’s easy to get up and be on your toes playing Dallas, Colorado or Vegas. It’s a lot tough facing Minnesota on a random Tuesday in December. And these are the types of games that teams that find their way into the post-season find ways to win. The teams that let these points slip away tend to find themselves golfing in late April.

The Wild

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Kaprizov – Rossi – Zuccarello
Johansson – Eriksson Ek – Boldy
Foligno – Gaudreau – Maroon
Duhaime – Dewar – Hartman
Brodin – Faber
Middleton – Spurgeon
Goligoski – Merrill
We’re projecting Filip Gustavsson to start for the Wild, backed up by Marc-Andre Fleury. There are a few question marks about Minnesota’s line-up, as Zach Bogosian is on the road trip (but may not be ready yet) and Dakota Memis is their lone extra healthy body as insurance.
The Wild have had a tough season so far, and their tough start has led to head coach Dean Evason being jettisoned in favour of John Hynes. The Wild have been a win-one, lose-one team for much of the season. They definitely have the horses to be a good hockey club, but things just haven’t clicked for them yet this season.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Wild are without Mason Shaw and Zach Bogosian.

The numbers

FlamesWild
10Wins8
23 (.479)Points (%)20 (.455)
51.0%
(14th)
xGF%51.7%
(11th)
12.8%
(26th)
PP%18.3%
(22nd)
84.4%
(9th)
PK%70.0%
(32nd)

Head to head

This is the first of three games between these teams this season.

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