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Calgary Flames Game Day 63: The beginning of the home stretch against the Wild (8pm MT, CBC/SNW/City/960)

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Photo credit:David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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All the roster shuffling is complete: now it’s time to begin the race to the finish of the 2022-23 National Hockey League season. For the Calgary Flames (27-22-13, 67 points), that race begins with a Saturday night clash with the Minnesota Wild (35-21-6, 76 points) in a game with a lot of playoff importance for both clubs. Can the Flames get back into the win column? Or will their pre-deadline slide continue?
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, Sportsnet’s national feed, City TV and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Pelletier – Kadri – Huberdeau
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Stecher
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net coming off a superb performance against Toronto, backed up by Dan Vladar. Newly-acquired Troy Stecher subs in for Dennis Gilbert, who joins Adam Ruzicka and Nick Ritchie on the sidelines.
The Flames have lost four in a row (0-2-2) but still sit shouting distance from the playoffs. But they need to string together wins – many of them – to maintain a realistic chance of a post-season berth. They’ve played really well this season, but have found ways to lose. They need to start finding ways to win before the sands are fully out of the hourglass.

The Wild

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Kaprizov – Hartman – Zuccarello
Johansson – Eriksson Ek – Boldy
Foligno – Steel – Gaudreau
Shaw – Dewar – Reaves
Middleton – Spurgeon
Goligoski – Dumba
Merrill – Klingberg
We’re projecting Filip Gustavsson to start in net, backed up by Marc-Andre Fleury. Minnesota’s extras are Oscar Sundqvist (who is dealing with transportation challenges per The Athletic’s Joe Smith), Brandon Duhaime (who’s dealing with an injury), and Calen Addison, who looks like the odd man out on Saturday night. We’ll see how the Wild line up at warm-up, but expect John Klingberg to make his debut.
The Wild are a good team, but have struggled with consistency issues during stretches of this season. They have a lot of good players throughout their lineup, and Addison is quietly having a really good rookie season. But keeping good habits and strong play going for lengthy streaks has eluded them at times. If they can maintain their levels, they’re a tough team to beat.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Wild are without Jonas Brodin and Gustav Nyquist.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Saturday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re five points behind Winnipeg (for the final wild-card spot).
  • They’re nine points behind Edmonton (for the first wild-card spot), but Calgary has a game in hand.
  • They’re nine points behind Seattle (for the third Pacific Division spot).
Nashville is one point behind the Flames, and they have three games in hand.

The numbers

FlamesWild
27Wins35
67 (.540)Points (%)76 (.613)
55.4xGF%50.8
19.7PP%22.9
80.8PK%82.1

Head to head

This is the second of three meetings between these teams this season. The Flames won their first meeting back in December by a 5-3 score. They close out the season series in the Twin Cities later this week.

Social life

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