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Calgary Flames Game Day 52: Returning to their roots on Long Island (11am MT)

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Photo credit:Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
11 days ago
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Way back in 1972, the very first game in Flames franchise history was played on Long Island. Five decades later, the Calgary Flames (24-22-5, 53 points) are making their annual visit to the Island to face the aptly named New York Islanders (25-17-12, 56 points). The Islanders are riding the New Coach Bump, while the Flames have won three in a row. Can the visitors continue their winning ways in a matinee game?
The broadcast begins at 11 a.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and Ontario and East) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as +110 underdogs against the Islanders on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Kuzmenko
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Pelletier – Rooney – Duehr
Hanifin – Tanev
Weegar – Andersson
Kylington – Pachal
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. The projected extras are Jordan Oesterle, Dennis Gilbert and Cole Schwindt. We’re not expecting any lineup changes for a group that’s won back-to-back games coming out of the All-Star break.
The Flames have won three games in a row dating back to prior to the All-Star break. Head coach Ryan Huska has admitted openly that the team doesn’t really have a game-breaker, so to speak, and they have to be a team that has four lines and three pairings playing the same way to be effective.
Their game against Boston was arguably the best example of how effective a hockey club they can be when they’re all pulling on the rope in the same direction. The vibes around the team right now are pretty positive, as the kids are bringing some good energy and several players are having success. We’ll see if they can keep that rolling along.
The Flames are one point behind St. Louis for the final Western Conference playoff spot, but the Blues have two games in hand. (When you control for games played, they’re really 3.2 points behind the Blues.)

The Islanders

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Lee – Horvat – Barzal
Engvall – Nelson – Palmieri
Holmstrom – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Aho – Dobson
Pelech – Pulock
Reilly – Mayfield
We’re projecting Semyon Varlamov to start in goal, backed up by Ilya Sorokin. Alexander Romanov will miss the game with an injury, so Sebastian Aho slots in and Samuel Bolduc will be the lone healthy extra. (This Aho is the Swedish defenceman, not the Finnish forward.)
The Islanders have played six games under new head coach Patrick Roy. They’re 3-2-1 and they’ve won their past two games, beating Toronto and Tampa Bay. Five of their six games under Roy have been one-goal games. The Islanders have some really impressive pieces – Noah Dobson is quietly have a great season – but so far they just haven’t hit their stride as a group this year. (Yet.)
The Islanders are two points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. (When you control for games played, they’re really 3.2 points behind the Red Wings for the last spot.)
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, A.J. Greer and Dan Vladar.
The Islanders are without Robert Bortuzzo and Hudson Fasching.

The numbers

FlamesIslanders
24Wins22
53 (.520)Points (%)55 (.549)
49.7%
(19th)
xGF%49.1%
(23rd)
14.5%
(28th)
PP%22.7%
(11th)
84.3%
(3rd)
PK%71.8%
(32nd)

Head to head

This is the finale of their two-game season series. The Flames lost to the Islanders in a shootout back in Calgary way back in November.

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