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Calgary Flames Game Day 5: Visiting old friends in scenic Columbus (5pm MT)

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Photo credit:Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
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Just 24 hours after winning in scenic Buffalo, the Calgary Flames (2-1-1, 5 points) head to Ohio for the fourth game of their season-high five-game road trip to face the Columbus Blue Jackets (1-2-0, 2 points). Columbus is off to a disappointing start (after a disappointing 2022-23 season) and they’re undoubtedly hoping to right their ship at Calgary’s expense.
The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Ruzicka – Kadri – Dube
Coleman – Backlund – Coronato
Greer – Sharangovich
– Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Tanev
It’s the back half of a back-to-back with travel, so there’s no morning skate. We’re projected that Jacob Markstrom starts in net, following Dan Vladar’s start in Buffalo. Given this is Ryan Huska’s first NHL back-to-back as a head coach, we’re not sure if he’ll make any (or many) lineup tweaks. The Flames are carrying Jordan Oesterle and Dryden Hunt as extras.
It’s the Flames’ first visit to old friends Johnny Gaudreau and Erik Gudbranson since a 3-1 loss at Nationwide Arena back on Dec. 9, 2022. That game’s effort, and result, prompted then-head coach Darryl Sutter to snark “We had some guys came for a visit, not to try to win the hockey game.”
The Flames have yet to put together a strong 60 minutes this season, but they’ve put together really strong stretches. Puck management, particularly in their own end and in the neutral zone, continues to be a challenge. But hey, look out for the new-look fourth line: A.J. Greer, Yegor Sharangovich and Walker Duehr have brought speed, physicality and pizzazz to that role and it’s helped the team.

The Blue Jackets

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Fantilli – Laine – Texier
Gaudreau – Jenner – Marchenko
Johnson – Sillinger – Bemstrom
Roslovic – Kuraly – Danforth
Bean – Gudbranson
Provorov – Jiricek
Boqvist – Severson
Elvis Merzlikins is expected to start, backed up by Spencer Martin. Adam Peake, Liam Foudy and Mathieu Olivier were the extras last time out. Zach Werenski is trending towards a return tonight. The Jackets have waived Foudy, which strongly suggests that Werenski will be activated – and they’re managing to keep David Jiricek on their NHL roster, too.
What can we say about Columbus? They’re a group that, so far, has been less than the sum of their parts. On paper, they have a lot of really exciting component pieces – including hotshot rookie Adam Fantilli – but so far things haven’t snapped into place yet.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Blue Jackets are without Daniil Tarasov, Yegor Chinakhov and Zach Werenski.

The numbers

FlamesBlue Jackets
2Wins1
5 (.625)Points (%)2 (.333)
48.6%xGF%39.1%
18.8%PP%11.1%
93.3%PK%72.7%

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these clubs this season. They’ll meet again in Calgary in late January.

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