Calgary Flames Game Day 68: Welcoming the Washington Capitals (6:30pm MT)

Photo credit:© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
30 days ago
Brought to you by odds site Betway
Winners of two in a row, the Calgary Flames (33-29-5, 71 points) are mathematically still alive in the playoff race, the best kind of alive. They’ll aim to stick around for a little longer when they host the Washington Capitals (32-25-9, 73 points), a team in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff battle. Can the Flames play spoiler for the Capitals while keeping themselves in the playoff conversation?
The broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet’s national feed and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as -180 favourites against the Capitals on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines via Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg:
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Huberdeau – Kadri – Pospisil
Hunt – Sharangovich – Kuzmenko
Greer – Rooney – Coronato
Kylington – Andersson
Weegar – Miromanov
Hanley – Pachal
We’re projecting Dustin Wolf to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. We’re anticipating that the healthy extras for this game are Jakob Pelletier, Walker Duehr, Dennis Gilbert and Nikita Okhotiuk.
On one hand, veteran netminder Jacob Markstrom is out day-to-day with an injury. On the other hand, Markstrom’s absence has allowed top prospect Dustin Wolf an opportunity to be up with the big club and play regularly. He’s played the last five periods and performed quite well. He made 28 saves against Vegas on Thursday and 36 saves against Montreal on Saturday.
Moreover, the Flames seem to have found their rhythm again with Wolf in net. Sometimes we see teams get a bit skittish playing in front of an unfamiliar goaltender – for Miikka Kiprusoff’s run, the Flames seemed like a much different team playing in front of his backups – but the team seems to play the same game in front of Wolf as with Markstrom. That bodes well for the club’s future as it delves head-long into their retool.

The Capitals

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Ovechkin – McMichael – Oshie
Miroshnichenko – Strome – Wilson
Pacioretty – Lapierre – Milano
Malenstyn – Dowd – Protas
Fehervary – Carlson
Sandin – Jensen
Alexeyev – van Riemsdyk
We’re projecting Charlie Lindgren to start in net, backed up by Darcy Kuemper. The projected extra skaters are Ethan Bear, Michael Sgarbossa and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.
The Capitals begin action on Monday a single point behind Detroit for the second Eastern Conference wild card playoff spot with two games in hand. The New York Islanders are tied with Washington but have played one more game. The three teams are in the midst of a battle for that last spot, and Monday’s game could legitimately decide who makes the post-season and who doesn’t.
As always, keep an eye on Alex Ovechkin. A goal-scoring machine, he’s slowed down a bit this year offensively, but he remains a really dangerous offensive player. And who knows how many more visits he’ll make to the Saddledome?
Flames Game Day content is presented by Betway!

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, Connor Zary and Jacob Markstrom.
The Capitals are without Nicklas Backstrom.

The numbers

71 (.530)Points (%)73 (.553)

Head to head

This game concludes their season series. The Capitals beat the Flames in a shootout in Washington back in October.

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