Calgary Flames Game Day 62: A clash with the Lightning on the eve of the trade deadline (5pm MT)

Photo credit:© Kim Klement Neitzel - USA Today
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Brought to you by odds site Betway
Less than 24 hours after addressing their final big piece of immediate trade deadline business, the Calgary Flames (30-26-5, 65 points) are back in action as they kick off a frenzied road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning (33-24-6, 72 points). It’s the first game in a stretch of three games in less than four games, as the second and third games are both weekend matinees. It’s a big test for a Flames team that’s admittedly a bit depleted after the departures of Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin since the beginning of the All-Star break.
The broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet Pacific and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as +130 underdogs against the Lightning on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Pelletier – Kadri – Kuzmenko
Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Coronato
Hunt – Rooney – Duehr
Andersson – Weegar
Kylington – Pachal
Gilbert – Hanley
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. In terms of folks we’re not expecting to see: Martin Pospisil will serve the first game of his three game suspension, Daniil Miromanov is in transit but should be available for Saturday’s game (per Sportsnet’s Eric Francis), and Jordan Oesterle skated with the now-departed Noah Hanifin in Wednesday’s practice and sure seems like the odd man out. Matt Coronato enters the lineup in place of Pospisil, while Joel Hanley likely makes his Flames debut.
There, clear as mud!
The Flames begin play on Thursday evening eight points behind Nashville for the final Western Conference wild card spot, but they do hold two games-in-hand on the Predators. Suffice it to say, heading into a road trip where they’ll face Tampa Bay (tonight), Florida (Saturday) and Carolina (Sunday) in three tough road buildings, the Flames need to run the table to keep their heads above water in the playoff chase. Oh, and they just traded one of their best blueliners and they’ll be without difference-making rookies Connor Zary (injury) and Pospisil (suspension). They’re facing some adversity, but they’re a team that’s done that all season and has seemed to battle through ably.

The Lightning

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Stamkos – Point – Kucherov
Hagel – Cirelli – Chaffee
Eyssimont – Paul – Sheary
Motte – Glendening – Watson
Hedman – Raddysh
de Haan – Cernak
Martinsen-Lilleberg – Crozier
We’re projecting Andrei Vasilevskiy to start in net, backed up by Jonas Johansson. The projected extras for Tampa are Nick Perbix and Haydn Fleury.
The Lightning are the Lightning. They’re good. Their depth has been challenged due to their perpetually precarious salary cap situation, but they boast a few really good players, capable depth bodies they seem to keep plucking from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, and a team that flat-out knows how to win when they need to. They’re in the second wild card spot in the East and are four points up on the first non-playoff team. They’re not home and cooled yet in terms of the post-season, so this is a game they need to win to maintain breathing room.
Flames Game Day content is presented by Betway!

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, A.J. Greer and Connor Zary.
The Lightning are without Brent Seabrook, Mikhail Sergachev and Tanner Jeannot.

The numbers

65 (.533)Points (%)72 (.571)

Head to head

This is the second of two games between these old rivals this season. The Flames beat the Lightning in Calgary by a 4-2 score way back in December.

Check out these posts...