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Calgary Flames Game Day 73: A battle with the Los Angeles Kings (8pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
17 days ago
On the verge of being completely out of playoff contention, the Calgary Flames (33-34-5, 71 points) look to snap their ongoing five game losing streak on Saturday night at the Saddledome. But they’ll face a big challenge in the form of the Los Angeles Kings (38-23-11, 87 points), who are in a playoff spot, but have slid from a cozy divisional slot into the wild card ranks with a mere five-point cushion.
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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 +135 underdogs against the Kings on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Kuzmenko – Kadri – Pospisil
Zary – Sharangovich – Coronato
Greer – Rooney – Hunt
Hanley – Andersson
Weegar – Miromanov
Kylington – Pachal
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. Via Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet, Andrew Mangiapane was absent from morning skate after missing Thursday’s game but Oliver Kylington was on the ice (after also missing Thursday). Our current expectation is Kylington returns but Mangiapane does not. The extras project to be Nikita Okhotiuk, Dennis Gilbert and Walker Duehr.
The Flames haven’t been bad lately. Heck, they’ve been generally quiet good, in terms of their overall structure and form. But they’ve found ways to lose – in a similar manner that they did during their October slump – by making poor reads at bad times, or by having their miscues or bad bounces happen at the worst possible times in games. You cannot fault the effort. The execution could be a bit better.
The Flames and Kings have had some wars over the past few years. Keep an eye on Blake Coleman in this one; if he’s physically engaged and battling, the Flames could be on the right track.

The Kings

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Danault – Moore
Arvidsson – Dubois – Laferriere
Kaliyev – Lizotte – Lewis
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence
We’re projecting David Rittich to start in net, backed up by Cam Talbot. The Kings’ lone healthy extra is Jacob Moverare. Via Mayor’s Manor, the Kings are a bit banged up, so maybe Moverare will dress. We might have to wait until warm-up for clarity on that, though.
The Kings lost to Edmonton on Thursday and, combined with a Vegas win, they slid into the final wild card spot in the West. They’re a point behind Vegas with a game in hand, so a win over the Flames would get them back into the third Pacific Division spot. The Kings are five points up on St. Louis for the final playoff spot, but they’re not comfortably in the playoffs quite yet. They have things to play for, so expect a serious and motivated road side.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, Dan Vladar and Andrew Mangiapane.
The Kings are without Pheonix Copley, Carl Grundstrom and Alex Turcotte.

The numbers

FlamesKings
33Wins38
71 (.493)Points (%)87 (.604)
50.3%
(18th)
xGF%54.6%
(3rd)
14.9%
(29th)
PP%21.9%
(13th)
82.7%
(5th)
PK%85.4%
(2nd)

Head to head

This is the third of four meetings between these teams this season. So far, they’ve split their meetings (with the home side winning each game). They’ll close out their season series in California in mid-April.

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