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Calgary Flames Game Day 27: Dealing with the Devils (2pm MT)

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Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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After nearly two full weeks at home, the Calgary Flames (11-12-3, 25 points) look to close out their season-high six game homestand in style with a matinee on Saturday afternoon. They host the New Jersey Devils (13-10-1, 27 points), a team with a lot of good, young players that’s hoping to take a big step this season. The Flames have won three of five games so far. Can they turn a good homestand into a really good one with one more win?
The broadcast begins at 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet’s national feed and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are +100 underdogs on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Sharangovich – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Zary – Kadri – Coronato
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Solovyov – Gilbert
Based on reports from Friday’s practice, Dan Vladar is expected to start, backed up by Dustin Wolf. We’re projecting Jordan Oesterle and Walker Duehr to be scratched again given the Flames won on Thursday night. A.J. Greer and Walker Duehr both missed practice on Friday due to illness, so we’ll see if either of them are available for the game.
Update: Wolf starts; Pospisil & Duehr are unavailable to due illness; Matt Coronato dresses after being recalled from the Wranglers in the morning.
The Flames’ win on Thursday night against Carolina was everything fans love and hate about the team in a single game:
  • A rough start, with the Flames giving up the first goal and trailing after the first period.
  • Goaltending that kept the Flames in the game while they made in-game adjustments.
  • An unimpressive power play.
  • An impressive penalty kill.
  • Impressive performances from rookies.
  • Timely goals from Blake Coleman.
  • A dramatic third period comeback.
The Flames need to smooth out the rough spots in their game – especially their slow starts and their power play – but there are enough bright spots that the Flames have kept themselves in the playoff mix. A win over the Devils would get them back to .500 and inch them slightly closer to a playoff spot.

The Devils

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Haula – J.Hughes – Toffoli
Palat – Hischier – Bratt
Meier – Mercer – Holtz
McLeod – Lazar
Siegenthaler – Nemec
Bahl – Marino
L.Hughes – Miller
Smith
The Devils have been rotating their goaltenders for the last while. Since Akira Schmid started their last game, we’re projecting Vitek Vanecek starts on Saturday afternoon. Their extras in Seattle were forwards Chris Tierney and Nathan Bastian – they used Brendan Smith as a seventh defenceman/quasi-forward – but we’ll see what they end up doing. Tyler Toffoli returns to Calgary after his draft weekend trade to the Devils. (And shout-out to Curtis Lazar, who’s managed to carve out a nice spot for himself in the NHL after being in the AHL as recently as 2019-20.)
Saturday afternoon is the third game for the Devils in a four game trek out west that concludes on Sunday in Edmonton. They’ve already battled to one-goal wins over Vancouver and Seattle. Rookie blueliner Simon Nemec scored his first NHL goal against the Kraken, and it held up as the winner.
The Devils have been a streaky team so far this season. They began with a 7-3-1 run. Then they lost six out of seven games. Thursday’s win in Seattle was their fifth in their last six games. Like we said: streaky. But when the Devils are good, they’re quite good.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney and Jacob Markstrom.
The Devils are without Dougie Hamilton and Tomas Nosek.

The numbers

FlamesDevils
11Wins13
25 (.481)Points (%)27 (.563)
51.9%
(12th)
xGF%54.3%
(4th)
11.9%
(28th)
PP%35.0%
(1st)
84.0%
(9th)
PK%75.6%
(24th)

Head to head

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

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