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FGD 5: A clash in the Big Apple (5pm MT, SN West)

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Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
After winning the first two games on their eastern swing, the Calgary Flames (2-1-1, 5 points) can guarantee they head home with a majority of the available points when they visit the New York Rangers (4-1-1, 9 points) in the only NHL arena technically older than the Saddledome, Madison Square Garden. (MSG has been extensively renovated over the years, so it’s basically a new building inside an exterior shell from the ’60s.) Can the Flames continue their winning ways?
The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on television via Sportsnet West (with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey) or on radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Mangiapane – Dube – Ritchie
Coleman – Backlund – Pitlick
Lucic – Monahan – Lewis
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Välimäki – Gudbranson
Jacob Markström starts for the Flames after getting a shutout in Detroit, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected scratches look to be Brad Richardson, Michael Stone and Nikita Zadorov (as they have been for the first two games of the road trip). Aside from the goaltending swap, no changes from Saturday’s line-up.
The Flames haven’t played complete 60 minute games thus far, but there have been elements of their games (and big stretches) that have been superb. If they can stay out the penalty box (and avoid having their games derailed by defending too often), maybe they can avoid the second period slump that hit them in Detroit and Washington.
Three Flames have really stood out offensively for the Flames thus far: Elias Lindholm (six goals!), Johnny Gaudreau (six assists!) and Andrew Mangiapane (three goals!). If these gentlemen can continue to generate offense, the Flames may have a fighting chance.

The Rangers

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Lafreniere – Zibanejad – Kreider
Panarin – Strome – Goodrow
Blais – Chytil – Gauthier
Hunt – Rooney – Reaves
Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Nemeth – Lundkvist
The Rangers are rotating their goaltenders; after Alexander Georgiev started on Saturday, it sounds like Igor Shesterkin starts this evening but we’ll find out when head coach Gerard Gallant speaks around 3 p.m. MT. The projected extras are Jarred Tinordi, Greg McKegg and Libor Hajek. Ryan Strome looks to be returning from the sidelines tonight, so Morgan Barron is headed to AHL Hartford to make room on the roster.
The Rangers have been successful and opportunistic lately. They arguably have some of the same depth challenges that the Flames do, but they’ve found ways to win lately on the back of strong goaltending and timely scoring. Dramatic wins might not be a recipe for success, but they have definitely been entertaining for Rangers fans.

The numbers

CalgaryNY Rangers
Wins24
Points (%)5 (.625)9 (.750)
Adjusted Corsi For57.0%48.3%
Expected Goals For52.3%46.2%
Power Play16.7%12.5%
Penalty Kill76.9%81.0%

Unfit to play

The Flames are now fully healthy.
The Rangers are without Kaapo Kakko (injury).

When last we met

The Flames beat the Rangers at the ‘Dome back on Jan. 2, 2020. (Their visit to New York City in 2019-20 was wiped out by the pandemic.) Their last visit to MSG was in October 2018 (a win).

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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