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Calgary Flames Game Day 72: Hoping for a bounce-back in Orange County (8pm MT, SNW/960)

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
11 months ago
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On Monday, the Calgary Flames (31-25-15, 77 points) were not particularly good against Los Angeles. In fact, they gave up eight goals and lost a very one-sided game. They’ll try to salvage their trip to California on Tuesday evening when they visit the Anaheim Ducks (23-37-10, 56 points) in a game they pretty much have to win to keep pace in the playoff picture.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Ritchie – Kadri – Dube
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Stecher
It’s a back-to-back situation, so there’s no morning skate and we’re guessing a bit on the lineup. We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, making his 11th start in a row for the Flames. He’s backed up by Dan Vladar. Vladar relieved Markstrom after two periods in Los Angeles, so we’re guessing Markstrom goes again. The extra skaters on Monday were Milan Lucic, Walker Duehr and Dennis Gilbert. Expect at least one of them to get back in for this game.
Update: Chris Tanev out due to injury, Jakob Pelletier and Adam Ruzicka scratched; Dennis Gilbert, Milan Lucic and Walker Duehr go back in.
So, uh, the Flames were flat-out no good in Los Angeles. They were out-shot, out-hustled, out-executed, out-battled, out-forechecked and thoroughly out-scored. They gave up eight goals, six at even strength. Nothing about their game was particularly impressive. They were playing a good team, mind you, but they were decidedly second-best.
If the Flames want to be playing after Apr. 13, they need to have a strong performance against the Ducks. They simply cannot afford another regulation loss against a non-playoff opponent this season.

The Ducks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
McGinn – Zegras – Strome
Jones – McTavish – Terry
Vatrano – Lundestrom – Silfverberg
Comtois – Grant – Nesterenko
Fowler – Harrington
Benoit – Shattenkirk
Beaulieu – White
We’re projecting John Gibson to start for the Ducks in goal, backed up by Lukas Dostal. The projected extras are Sam Carrick and Brett Leason. Boston College product Nikita Nesterenko will debut in this game, but it’s not clear who he’s bumping out among Anaheim’s forwards. (Update: He bumped out Jayson Megna.)
The Ducks are in a rebuilding cycle, quite obviously, but they’re playing fast and loose. The Flames had all kinds of trouble with them the last time they met in Calgary, and with the Ducks rested and the Flames playing in the back half of a back-to-back, the Flames will need to be much better than they were in Los Angeles (or last time against Anaheim) if they want to stay afloat in the playoff race.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Ducks are without Jamie Drysdale, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Adam Henrique and Anthony Stolarz.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Tuesday’s games chasing several teams:
  • They’re one point ahead of Nashville for ninth place, but Nashville has three games in hand.
  • They’re four points behind Winnipeg (for the final wild-card spot).
  • They’re six points behind Seattle (for the first wild-card spot), but Seattle has two games in hand.
To reach 95 points (and have a reasonable chance at a playoff spot), the Flames need 18 points over the final 11 games – that’s a .818 pace in their remaining games.
If the season ended today, by virtue of points percentage, the Flames would be drafting 14th overall (before the lottery).
The Flames’ elimination number is 9.5. Any combination of Flames losses or Winnipeg wins totalling 9.5 eliminates Calgary from playoff contention.

The numbers

FlamesDucks
31Wins23
77 (.542)Points (%)56 (.400)
55.1xGF%39.8
19.6PP%15.9
81.8PK%72.7

Head to head

This is round three of four of the season series. The Flames beat Anaheim in overtime and lost in regulation. They’ll close out their season series in Calgary on Apr. 2.

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