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FGD 33: Headed back to the capital (5pm MT, SN Flames)

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Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
After a back-to-back split in Toronto, the Calgary Flames (15-14-3, 33 points) head into Canada’s capital region to face the Ottawa Senators (10-20-3, 23 points). The Flames are trying to claw their way into a playoff spot under new/old head coach Darryl Sutter and they’re in a position where they could really, really use four points over the next 72 hours against the Senators.
The puck drops just after 5:00 p.m. MT and you can catch the game on Sportsnet Flames or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ritchie
Lucic – Backlund – Mangiapane
Bennett – Ryan – Leivo
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Valimaki – Nesterov
Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The expected scratches are Zac Rinaldo, Alex Petrovic and the injured Joakim Nordstrom. The taxi squad is Artyom Zagidulin, Oliver Kylington, Buddy Robinson and Dominik Simon.
The Flames have won four of their six outings under Darryl Sutter – with wins against Montreal (2), Edmonton and Toronto – but three players haven’t hit the scoresheet yet at five-on-five: Mark Giordano, Juuso Valimaki and Johnny Gaudreau. Valimaki gets a pass because he’s a rookie on the third pairing, but the team’s captain and most dynamic player going oh-fer so far isn’t a great look. Heck, Gaudreau hasn’t even been on the ice for a Flames even strength goal during Sutter’s tenure.
For the Flames to get where they want to go, they need more out of Giordano and Gaudreau. (And soon.)

The Senators

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Tierney – C.Brown
Paul – White – Dadonov
Stuetzle – Norris – Batherson
Dzingel – Bishop – Watson
Chabot – Zaitsev
Reilly – Zub
Wolanin – J.Brown
Filip Gustavsson starts for Ottawa, backed up by Anton Forsberg. Erik Gudbranson is the lone healthy active scratch for the Sens. Their taxi squad is Kevin Mandolese, Vitaly Abramov, Braydon Coburn and Michael Haley.
The Senators are down to their fourth and fifth goalies of the year, as they’re missing three goalies and a few other key players. That said, they’re a team that plays the same way every time they go out onto the ice and seems to revel in playing spoiler. Facing a Flames team that will increasingly be feeling the standings pressure, these Senators could be a hard night at the office over the next few days.

The numbers

CalgaryOttawa
Wins1510
Points (%)33 (.516)23 (.348)
Adjusted Corsi For50.7%48.5%
Expected Goals For51.7%48.6%
Power Play20.4%14.7%
Penalty Kill80.0%74.8%

The drive to 65

If you peruse most standings projections, it becomes apparent that 65 points probably gets you into the playoffs. That’s a 32-23-1 record, or thereabouts, or a .580 points percentage.
The Flames have a 15-14-3 record, 33 points, and a .516 points percentage. They need 32 more points to punch their ticket to the post-season with 24 games remaining, which would translate to a .667 points percentage over the remaining games.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Joakim Nordstrom.
The Senators are without Derek Stephan, Marcus Hogberg, Matt Murray, Joey Daccord and Artem Anisimov.

When last we met

The Flames are 2-2-1 against the Senators this season through five games. After tonight, they’ll meet three more times – Wednesday, then Apr. 19 and 20.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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