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Calgary Flames Game Day 26: Here come the Hurricanes (7pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 months ago
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After losing consecutive games in regulation for the first time in just over a month, the Calgary Flames (10-12-3, 23 points) will attempt to shake it off and get back on track when they host the Carolina Hurricanes (14-10-1, 29 points) on Thursday evening. Carolina is playing their third game in four nights, and it hasn’t gone well so far, as they got walloped by Edmonton on Wednesday.
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are +100 underdogs 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
Solovyov – Gilbert
Based on reports from the rink from our pal Pat Steinberg, obscure seventh-round draft choice Dustin Wolf is expected to start, backed up by Dan Vladar. Walker Duehr and Jordan Oesterle appear to be the healthy extras for the Flames, but we’ll get a better sense of things at warm-up. Head coach Ryan Huska quipped the Flames’ goaltender was their most physical player in the first period against the Wild, so adding Gilbert and Pospisil back in should at the very least give the Flames a bit of sandpaper that they lacked on Tuesday.
So, uh, the Flames weren’t all that good against Minnesota. Their start was bad and by the time they started to get going, they were down by a few goals and chasing. They need to be more buttoned-up defensively early in games, because being leaky early on is really hurting their ability to play the game they want to play.
The Flames had a superb November, which did a lot to undo the damage done to their post-season hopes with a woeful October. It’s crucial that they halt their December skid at two games, because it’ll be difficult to dig themselves out from two bad months successfully.

The Hurricanes

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Bunting – Aho – Jarvis
Svechnikov – Kotkaniemi – Teravainen
Martinook – Staal – Fast
Noesen – Drury – Necas
Slavin – Burns
Skjei – Pesce
Orlov – Chatfield
So, Pyotr Kochetkov started in Edmonton last night and was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots in 5:46. Because Antti Raanta played the bulk of Wednesday’s game in relief, we’re guessing that the nominal “fresh” goalie, Kochetkov, starts. But it’s a back-to-back, so who knows? Wednesday’s extras were Anthony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux and based on how bad Carolina looked, we’re betting one or both of them get in against the Flames.
People keep asking themselves when the Hurricanes will graduate from “good team” to “bonafide contender.” And it’s for good reason: on paper, this is a really good hockey team. Their blueline group is good! Their forward group is good (and deep)! Their goaltending is perfectly fine, especially when everybody’s healthy. But the ‘Canes have yet to turn that last corner to contention. They still might do it, but their contractual situation with oodles of pending unrestricted free agents suggests that window may be closing in the near future.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney and Jacob Markstrom.
The Hurricanes are without Frederik Andersen.

The numbers

FlamesHurricanes
10Wins14
23 (.460)Points (%)29 (.580)
51.3%
(13th)
xGF%57.1%
(2nd)
12.4%
(27th)
PP%20.9%
(15th)
83.8%
(10th)
PK%77.5%
(21st)

Head to head

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

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