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Calgary Flames Game Day 60: A Saturday night in Denver (8pm MT, CBC/City/SNW/960)

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
11 months ago
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It’s a big-time clash on a Saturday night at Ball Arena in Denver! The Calgary Flames (27-20-12, 66 points) are in the Mile High City to face the Colorado Avalanche (32-19-5, 69 points). It’s the Flames, desperate for points, facing the defending Stanley Cup champions. Needless to say: it’s a big game.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, City TV, Sportsnet’s national feed and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Pelletier – Kadri – Huberdeau
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Gilbert
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. The expected extras are Connor Mackey, Adam Ruzicka and Brett Ritchie.
There’s two ways to look at this game, folks, and they’re probably both valid. On one hand, this is a scheduled win: Colorado played in Winnipeg on Friday night, trounced the Jets, and then flew back to Denver. They’re going to be a bit tuckered out. On the other hand, it’s the third game of a three games in four night road trip – three games in three different cities – and the Flames’ tank may be nearing empty. But considering the opposition – a big-time team – you have to figure the Flames will be amped up for this contest.
Oh, and Nazem Kadri returns to Denver for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup last June.

The Avalanche

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Lehkonen – MacKinnon – Nichushkin
Rodrigues – Compher – Rantanen
Malgin – Newhook – O’Connor
Cogliano – Nieto
Girard – Toews
Byram – Manson
Englund – MacDermid
Hunt
It’s the second half of a back-to-back for the Avalanche, so we’re making a few assumptions. Alexandar Georgiev started and made 26 saves against Winnipeg. Jonas Johansson was sent to the AHL last night and Justus Annunen was called up. Annunen has started this season in the NHL and won, while Johansson had only played in relief. We’ll see if Georgiev goes again, or if Annunen get a shot. The Avalanche have no healthy extra skates right now.
The Avalanche have been hampered by injuries basically all season and they’re missing some big pieces. But they’re deep, well-coached, and have a few really good hockey players that are capable of being difference-makers when they need them to be.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Avalanche without Gabriel Landeskog, Darren Helm, Cale Makar and Erik Johnson.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Saturday’s action three points behind Colorado for the second Western Conference wild-card spot, but the Avalanche have three games in hand. (They’re four points behind Minnesota as well, but the Wild are temporarily in the third Central Division playoff spot.)
They’re four points behind Seattle for the first wild-card, with Seattle holding a game in hand.
The Flames are six points behind Edmonton for the third Pacific Division spot.

The numbers

FlamesAvalanche
27Wins32
66 (.559)Points (%)69 (.616)
55.0xGF%50.8
20.2PP%23.1
81.0PK%77.6

Head to head

This is the third and final meeting between these teams this season. They’ve played each other twice in Calgary, with the Flames impressing with a 5-3 win in their home-opener and then looking extremely ordinary in a 4-1 loss to Colorado in mid-January.

Social life

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