Calgary Flames Game Day 36: Closing out 2023 against the Flyers (6pm MT)

Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
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It’s the final day of 2023, and it’s time for the annual New Year’s Eve game at the Saddledome. This year, the Calgary Flames (14-16-5, 33 points) host the Philadelphia Flyers (19-11-5, 43 points) in a battle of teams with very interesting special teams performances. Which team can find a way to get two key points and close out 2023 on a winning note?
The broadcast begins at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are -140 favourites against the Flyers on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Hanifin – Tanev
Oesterle – Weegar
Gilbert – Andersson
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. Based on morning skate, the projected extra skaters are Nick DeSimone and Walker Duehr. It’s mostly the same group we saw against Seattle, but slightly shuffled around in a few spots.
The big hubbub is the Flames’ coaching staff swapping some wingers around, placing Jonathan Huberdeau alongside Elias Lindholm and Yegor Sharangovich, while reuniting the strong five-on-five trio of Andrew Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman. On paper, this gives the Flames two strong lines (between Backlund’s line and Nazem Kadri’s trio). If the Lindholm line can’t get going, though, two strong depth lines may not amount to much in the grand scheme of things.
The Flames are looking to get back into the win column amidst a pretty streaky stretch for them. After going 3-0-2 and inching back up to the .500 mark, they have lost twice in a row to slide back below that level. If they have designs on challenging for a playoff berth, they gotta get back to .500 and stay there.

The Flyers

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Tippett – Couturier – Konecny
Foerster – Frost – Brink
Farabee – Poehling – Atkinson
Deslauriers – Laughton – Hathaway
York – Sanheim
Seeler – Walker
Zamula – Ristolainen
We’re projecting Samuel Ersson to start in net, backed up by Carter Hart. The projected extras are Marc Staal and Rhett Gardner.
The Flyers are in the midst of a four-game western swing, starting it off by splitting a back-to-back against Vancouver and Seattle. They’ve won eight of their 12 outings in December and are sitting six points behind the New York Rangers for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
The Flyers are kind of fascinating. They have a couple young goalies with some promise. They have a mix of youth and experience on their blueline. They have a few potential stars within their forward group, surrounding by some pretty effective veterans in key roles. They’ve earned their spot firmly in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Flyers are without Ryan Ellis and Noah Cates.

The numbers

33 (.471)Points (%)43 (.614)

Head to head

This is the first meeting of two between these teams… this season and this week. They close out their season series on Saturday in Philadelphia.

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