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Calgary Flames Game Day 8: The Flames look to beat the Blues (7pm MT)

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Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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With one game remaining until the 2023 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic in Edmonton, the Calgary Flames (2-4-1, 5 points) will try to snap their losing skid and build some momentum when they host the St. Louis Blues (2-2-1, 5 points). The Flames have lost three in a row (and five of their past six games). Can they rebound from a tough stretch?
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Coleman – Backlund – Mangiapane
Dube – Kadri – Coronato
Greer – Hunt – Duehr
Hanifin – Weegar
Zadorov – Tanev
Gilbert – Solovyov
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start, backed up by Dan Vladar. Per our pals at the rink (thanks, Pat), Adam Ruzicka skated briefly this morning after leaving Tuesday’s game late in the first period after taking a hit awkwardly into the boards. We’ll see if he takes warm-up. Per Steinberg, Jordan Oesterle worked late and seems likely to sit as a result, which means Ilya Solovyov quite possibly makes his NHL debut against St. Louis.
So here’s the deal: the Flames have scored more than two goals twice this season, and they won both games. When they’ve scored one or two goals, they’ve gone 0-4-1. So their key to victory – and we’re aware this sounds incredibly simple and dumb – is they need to score more goals.
How do they score more goals? Well, their power play has gone power-less, scoring zero goals over the past four games (after opening the season with three goals in three games). When the Flames win the special teams battle, they tend to win hockey games. When they don’t – like on Tuesday against the New York Rangers – they have a much more difficult night at the office.

The Blues

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Saad – Thomas – Kyrou
Buchnevich – Schenn – Kapanen
Toropchenko – Sundqvist – Blais
Hayes – Neighbours
Leddy – Parayko
Krug – Faulk
Scandella – Bortuzzo
Perunovich
Joel Hofer is the projected starter, backed up by Jordan Binnington. The projected extras are Nikita Alexandrov, Jakub Vrana and Tyler Tucker, as the Blues will go 11 forwards and seven defenders against the Flames.
The Blues have alternated wins and losses since the start of the season, with their last outing being a loss against Winnipeg. So they’re hoping to bounce back and get back into the win column against the Flames. The Blues aren’t what they were a few seasons ago, but they have a good mix of youth and experience, and they’re capable of stealing games – especially if their goaltender has a strong outing.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney, Adam Ruzicka and Rasmus Andersson.
The Blues are healthy.

The numbers

FlamesBlues
2Wins2
5 (.357)Points (%)5 (.500)
55.1%
(4th)
xGF%42.7%
(29th)
12.5%
(24th)
PP%6.7%
(29th)
88.9%
(6th)
PK%71.4%
(25th)

Head to head

This is the first of three meetings between these clubs this season. The Flames host the Blues again in January and then they close out their season series in St. Louis in March.

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