Calgary Flames Game Day 64: Hunting for a win down in Texas (6:30pm MT, SNF/960)

Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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After losing five games in a row, the Calgary Flames (27-23-13, 67 points) aim to finally get back into the win column. And they’re attempting to do so against a pretty tough opponent, the Dallas Stars (34-16-13, 81 points). The Stars are among the top teams in the Western Conference, while the Flames are, well, desperate to get points to stay relevant in the playoff race.
The broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet Flames, Sportsnet West (joined in progress after the Oilers game) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Pelletier – Lindholm – Toffoli
Ritchie – Kadri – Huberdeau
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Dube – Lewis
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Stecher
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start, coming off two strong performances against Toronto and Minnesota, backed up by Dan Vladar. (It’s the first half of a back-to-back, so we’ll see how they manage the netminding duties.) The projected extras are Dennis Gilbert, Walker Duehr and Adam Ruzicka.
The Flames’ forward lines have been thrown into the blender for this game, based on a report from morning skate from Sportsnet’s Ryan Leslie. Jakob Pelletier is moved up to play with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli. Nick Ritchie makes his Flames debut alongside Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau. Dillon Dube moves to centre in-between Milan Lucic and Trevor Lewis. Who’s kept together? Mikael Backlund’s line, which has been one of the top possession lines in the sport of ice hockey in recent weeks.
The Flames need goals and wins wherever they can find ’em, because time is running out.

The Stars

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Robertson – Hintz – Pavelski
Benn – Johnston – Dadonov
Marchment – Domi – Seguin
Kiviranta – Faksa – Dellandrea
Heiskanen – Miller
Lindell – Hakanpaa
Suter – Lundqvist
Jake Oettinger is expected to start, backed up by Matthew Murray – not to be confused with Toronto’s Matt Murray, who while also a goaltender is a completely different person. The projected extras are Joel Hanley and Frederic Olofsson. Joel Kiviranta may return to action today after dealing with an injury. If Kiviranta doesn’t play, Olofsson will likely remain on the fourth line.
The Stars are just a good hockey team. Are they a powerhouse? Not exactly. They have some flaws. But they’re well-built, with a mixture of strong homegrown assets – hey there, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, Wyatt Johnston, entire fourth line and most of their defensive group – and they have depth and talent across the board. They’re not Boston good, and occasionally their consistency isn’t there, but they’re a really fun team to watch and there’s a lot of upside in this group.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Stars are without Luke Glendening and Scott Wedgewood.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Monday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re one point behind Nashville for ninth place, but Nashville has three games in hand.
  • They’re seven 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 11 points behind Seattle (for the third Pacific Division spot).
If the season ended today, by virtue of points percentage, the Flames would be drafting 13th overall (before the lottery).

The numbers

67 (.532)Points (%)81 (.643)

Head to head

This is the second of three games between these teams in 2022-23. The Flames beat the Stars in Dallas back in January in a wild game by a 6-5 score. This was the game where the Flames nearly blew a five-goal lead.

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