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Flames Game Day 13: Trying to snap a losing skid in Boston (5pm MT, SN360/960)

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Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
23 days ago
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The Calgary Flames (5-5-2, 12 points) are riding a six game losing skid and are headed into their third game in four nights on the road on Thursday night. They’re missing key players. And they’re set to face one of the National Hockey League’s top clubs, the Boston Bruins (11-2-0, 22 points), a team that has made some really puzzling off-ice decisions of late – you may have heard about ’em – but remain a really tough team to play against. The Flames will try to defy the odds and get back into the win column.
The battle begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Ruzicka – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Coleman
Mangiapane – Backlund – Lewis
Lucic – Rooney – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – DeSimone
Dan Vladar was in the starter’s net at Thursday’s morning skate (via Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson), so he likely starts with Jacob Markstrom as his backup. Vladar has one start, and one shutout win, against Boston in his NHL career. Connor Mackey looks to be the lone “healthy” extra body, with Chris Tanev (undisclosed) and Jonathan Huberdeau (upper and/or lower body) on the active roster but likely unavailable for this game.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for a bunch of Flames players. Vladar and Lucic are former Bruins who made their NHL debuts with the Bs. Rooney and Hanifin are from the Boston area. Many of the other Flames enjoy seafood and New England accents, presumably. And for a Flames team that has played quite well in the past few games but not gotten the results, there may be nothing sweeter than breaking their slump and doing so against one of the best teams in hockey.
Well, either that or a Sam Adams and a bowl of good chowder.

The Bruins

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Marchand – Bergeron – DeBrusk
Hall – Krejci – Pastrnak
Frederic – Coyle – Zacha
Foligno – Nosek – Smith
Grzelcyk  – McAvoy
Lindholm – Clifton
Zboril – Carlo
Linus Ullmark likely starts for Boston, backed up by Keith Kincaid. A.J. Greer and Anton Stralman look to be the extras for Boston on Thursday night.
The big news for Boston is the return of very good blueliner Charlie McAvoy from injury. He’s expected to bounce around the lineup a bit as he gets back into the swing of things. But if he’s anywhere close to the player he can be, he’s a big addition for the Bruins and makes them a really deep, dangerous team. Well, moreso than they already are.
Boston has not lost at home yet through seven home dates this season.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Chris Tanev, Michael Stone and Jonathan Huberdeau.
The Bruins are without Jeremy Swayman and Derek Forbort.

The numbers

FlamesBruins
5Wins11
12 (.500)Points (%)22 (.846)
xGF%
23.1PP%26.7
80.0PK%93.3

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season. They split their two meetings last season, with the road team always winning.

Social life

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