Calgary Flames Game Day 77: A Sunday night with the Ducks (6pm MT, SNW/960)

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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On Friday night, the Calgary Flames (35-26-15, 85 points) battled back for a dramatic overtime victory in Vancouver. Back at home, they’ll host the Anaheim Ducks (23-43-10, 56 points), a team who played in Edmonton 20 hours ago and then flew down to Calgary. It’s the very definition of a must-win contest for the home side as they chase down Winnipeg for the final playoff spot.
The broadcast begins at 6 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
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start for the Flames for the 17th time in the past 18 games. He’s backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Michael Stone, Jakob Pelletier, Adam Ruzicka and Matt Coronato. We’re expecting Chris Tanev to miss his sixth consecutive game with an upper body injury.
The Flames are in a spot where every game is must-win as they try to fend off Nashville and chase down Winnipeg. This is the first game in a stretch where they play three games in four nights, followed by a back-to-back Tuesday (against Chicago) and Wednesday (against Winnipeg). Needless to say, they’ll need to play smart, structured hockey and quite simply do what they need to do to win.
There are no more moral victories or style points. They just need actual victories and points, by hook or by crook.

The Ducks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Zegras – Strome – Vatrano
Comtois – McTavish – Jones
Nesterenko – Lundestrom – Silfverberg
McGinn – Grant – Megna
Fowler – Harrington
Beaulieu – White
Benoit – Shattenkirk
We’re projecting Lukas Dostal to start for the Ducks in the back half of a back-to-back. We’re not sure who backs him up, though; John Gibson left Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury. Presumably the next man up from the AHL, San Diego netminder Olle Eriksson Ek, would need to be rushed to Calgary from Des Moines, Iowa, where the Gulls played on Saturday. The extra skaters in Edmonton were Sam Carrick, Brett Leason and Andrej Sustr. (We’ll see if they make changes.)
It’s the second half of a back-to-back. The Ducks are a scrappy young team, but they also got walloped by the Oilers on Saturday night and then travelled. It’s incumbent on the Flames to grab hold of the game early and keep the Ducks on the mat. If you give the Ducks too much time or space, they’re fast and talented enough to make you pay for it.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Chris Tanev.
The Ducks are without John Moore, Jamie Drysdale, Urho Vaakanainen, Adam Henrique, Anthony Stolarz and Troy Terry.

The playoff race

The Flames enter Sunday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re one point ahead of Nashville (for ninth place), but Nashville has one game in hand.
  • They’re two points behind Winnipeg (for the final wild-card spot).
  • They’re five points behind Seattle (for the first wild-card spot), but Seattle has one game in hand.
To reach 95 points (and have a reasonable chance at a playoff spot), the Flames need 10 points over the final 6 games – that’s an .833 pace in their remaining games.
The Flames’ elimination number is 5.5. Any combination of Flames losses or Winnipeg wins totalling 6.5 eliminates Calgary from playoff contention. The Flames’ magic number is 7.5. Any combination of Flames wins or Winnipeg losses totalling 7.5 eliminates the Jets from playoff contention.

The numbers

85 (.559)Points (%)56 (.368)

Head to head

This is the season series finale between these clubs. The Flames have two wins and a loss against Anaheim – a regulation win, an overtime win and a regulation loss.

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