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Calgary Flames Game Day 31: A Saturday night battle with the Lightning (8pm MT)

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Photo credit:© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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After a road trip where they played well in every game but came home with zero wins, the Calgary Flames (11-14-5, 27 points) are back in the Saddledome on Saturday night. But they’ll continue their gauntlet of tough games when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning (14-12-5, 33 points), an old rival who they’ve had emotional battles with over the past two decades.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West, 360 and City TV, and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are (very slight) -115 favourites against the Lightning on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Hanifin – Andersson
Oesterle – Weegar
Gilbert – DeSimone
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net (based on the reporting of Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg), backed up by Dustin Wolf. The projected extra skaters are Ilya Solovyov and Walker Duehr. (Chris Tanev remains out day-to-day, while Jacob Markstrom participated in morning skate but won’t play.)
Since the Flames began their tough stretch – a “gauntlet,” if you will – they’ve gone 4-5-2 through the first 11 games. They’ve had maybe one game where they weren’t all that good, and 10 (or so) where they’ve been largely quite good. They have four games left before Christmas: Saturday’s game with Tampa, then Florida, Anaheim and Los Angeles.
The Flames are a team that’s in basically every game. But they are where they are in the standings because of a rough October… and their tendency to make game-deciding mistakes at poor times. If they can tidy up that part of their game, they’re still within spitting distance of a playoff spot. But time isn’t on their side.

The Lightning

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Barre-Boulet – Point – Kucherov
Jeannot – Cirelli – Hagel
Stamkos – Paul – Sheary
Motte – Glendening – Eyssimont
Sergachev – Cernak
de Haan – Raddysh
Fleury – Perbix
We’re projecting Andrei Vasilevskiy to start in net, backed up by Jonas Johansson. Their extra skaters are Austin Watson and Sean Day. (Victor Hedman is out day-to-day.)
This is the fifth (and final) game of Tampa’s odd road trip, which began in Nashville nine days ago and featured stops in Seattle, Vancouver and Edmonton before this game. They’ve gone 2-2-0 so far, and beat Edmonton by a 7-4 score on Thursday. Steven Stamkos had four goals. Tampa’s been a win-one, lose-one team this season… but they’re still capable of taking over games.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney, Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev.
The Lightning are without Victor Hedman, Brent Seabrook and Logan Brown.

The numbers

FlamesLightning
11Wins14
27 (.450)Points (%)33 (.532)
51.9%
(10th)
xGF%49.0%
(19th)
12.1%
(28th)
PP%29.4%
(3rd)
83.0%
(9th)
PK%79.8%
(18th)

Head to head

This is the first of two games between these teams this year. They’ll close out the season series in March in Central Florida.

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