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Calgary Flames Game Day 69: A nice trip to Vancouver (8pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
24 days ago
Brought to you by odds site Betway
It’s a Saturday night, and the Calgary Flames (33-30-5, 71 points) will attempt to keep fighting for their playoff lives against the team they’ve faced the most in their franchise’s history, the Vancouver Canucks (44-18-8, 96 points). The Canucks are at the top of the Pacific Division, while the Flames are below the cutline, but games between these teams seem to find a way to be memorable regardless of where each sits in the standings.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, City TV, Sportsnet’s national feed and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as +150 underdogs against the Canucks on Betway.
For a view from the other side, head over to Canucks Army!

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Kuzmenko
Greer – Rooney – Hunt
Kylington – Andersson
Weegar – Miromanov
Hanley – Pachal
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. We’re anticipating that the healthy extras for this game are Matt Coronato, Walker Duehr, Dennis Gilbert and Nikita Okhotiuk. The big lineup news is the anticipated returns of Jacob Markstrom and Connor Zary from injury. That pushes Wolf to the bench and Coronato the press box, for now, but give the Flames a bit more depth and swagger.
The Flames enter Saturday’s action 10 points behind Vegas for the last wild card spot, with the Flames holding a game-in-hand. The clock is definitively ticking away on the Flames, who remain mathematically alive, but another loss or two and their playoff math will change from merely bad to downright dreadful.
Keep an eye on the captain, Mikael Backlund. He’s played 61 games against the Canucks in his career and he always seems to get amped up for meetings with the Flames’ western rival.

The Canucks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Hoglander – Pettersson – Garland
Suter – Miller – Boeser
Mikheyev – Lindholm – Lafferty
Podkolzin – Blueger – Aman
Hughes – Hronek
Soucy – Myers
Zadorov – Juulsen
We’re projecting Casey DeSmith to start in net, backed up by Arturs Silovs. The extras last game were Ian Cole, Mark Friedman and Phillip di Giuseppe. There was some chatter on Friday that perhaps Cole could rotate back in, but we’ll see what materializes. Elias Lindholm didn’t skate on Friday, but that was said to be a maintenance day and he’s expected to play.
What can we say about the Canucks? They’ve taken that “next step” promising young teams often talk about taking, and they’ve become a really good team. They have a pretty good forward group, a pretty good blueline group, and when Thatcher Demko’s available they have some pretty good goaltenders, too. They’re currently battling with the New York Rangers for top overall spot in the NHL by points percentage.
The Canucks are a damn fine hockey club, and a big challenge for any team they face on any given night.
Flames Game Day content is presented by Betway!

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube and Dan Vladar.
The Canucks are without Tucker Poolman, Dakota Joshua and Thatcher Demko.

The numbers

FlamesCanucks
33Wins44
71 (.522)Points (%)96 (.686)
50.2%
(18th)
xGF%51.9%
(8th)
14.6%
(30th)
PP%22.1%
(14th)
83.4%
(5th)
PK%79.3%
(17th)

Head to head

This is the third of four meetings between these clubs this season. They split their two meetings in Calgary. They’ll close out their season series on Apr. 16 in Vancouver.

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