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Calgary Flames Game Day 81: A do or die clash with Nashville (7:30pm MT, SNW/SN1/960)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
10 months ago
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The Calgary Flames (37-27-16, 90 points) continue to fight for their playoff lives on Monday evening when they welcome the Nashville Predators (40-31-8, 88 points) to the Saddledome in a game with massive implications for both clubs. Depending on what happens in the Winnipeg/San Jose game, this game could literally make or crush either team’s post-season dreams.
The broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and the national feed), Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Backlund – Mangiapane
Ritchie – Kadri – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Stecher
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Michael Stone, Dennis Gilbert, Matt Coronato, Adam Ruzicka and Jakob Pelletier. It’s the 10th consecutive game of roughly the same group of skaters as the team battles to remain in the post-season mix.
Well folks, this may be the Waterloo of the Flames’ season – the date where they either battle their way in or are undone entirely. They’ve been a fairly inconsistent team this season, but they’re in the midst of perhaps their best run of play of recent memory. They were undone by some mistakes at tough times against Chicago and Vancouver. They’re a beast of a possession team, but haven’t been able to translate that into a comfortable amount of wins.
We’ll see if they can battle on and survive for another day.

The Predators

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Afanasyev – Glass – Tomasino
Sherwood – Novak – Evangelista
Trenin – Sissons – Asplund
Sanford – Jankowski – McCarron
McDonagh – Fabbro
Barrie – Livingstone
Stastney – Foote
We’re projecting Juuse Saros to start in net, backed up by Kevin Lankinen. The projected extra skaters are Kevin Gravel and Cole Smith.
The Predators actually sold off some players prior to the trade deadline, but they’ve been on a really nice run since then. They’ve gone 10-8-2 since deadline day and while that’s not an amazing record, it’s been enough to keep them within striking distance of Winnipeg and Calgary. They lost to the Jets on Saturday, though, and a poor result against the Flames may do them in entirely.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Predators are without Mark Borowiecki, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Alexandre Carrier, Juuso Parssinen, Matt Duchene, Roman Josi and Jeremy Lauzon.

The playoff race

The Flames are one point behind Winnipeg for the final playoff spot, but the Jets have a game in hand. The Flames are two points ahead of Nashville for ninth place in the Western Conference, but the Predators have a game in hand.
Winnipeg plays San Jose in a game that starts at 5 p.m. MT. If they win, a Flames regulation loss will officially end the playoff chase. The Flames will likely need to win this game, ideally in regulation, in order to remain alive in the playoff race.

The numbers

FlamesPredators
37Wins40
90 (.563)Points (%)88 (.557)
55.5xGF%47.2
20.2PP%18.0
82.1PK%82.0

Head to head

This is the season series finale between these clubs. The Predators won each of the past two meetings and have clinched the season series already.

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