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Flames Game Day 17: Getting reacquainted with Matthew Tkachuk (2pm MT, SNW/960)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
16 days ago
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For six seasons, 31 National Hockey League teams loved to hate playing against Matthew Tkachuk. On Saturday afternoon, it’s the Calgary Flames’ turn. The Flames (7-7-2, 16 points) are down in South Florida to visit the Florida Panthers (9-7-1, 19 points), for the first time since the big summer trade that made Tkachuk a Panther and gave the Flames a quartet of assets in return.
The broadcast begins at 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Ruzicka – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Tanev
Jacob Markstrom starts with Dan Vladar backing up. Kevin Rooney and Connor Mackey are the projected scratches.
It’s the first game back in Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar. After 341 games for Huberdeau and 148 for Weegar dressing in the home locker room at FLA Live Arena, now they’re at the other end of the hallway and facing some familiar faces for the first time. Expect a nice video package for both at the first commercial break, a nice reception from the crowd, and a pretty tight-checking, emotional game on both sides.
The Flames just couldn’t get enough grade-A chances against Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy saw almost everything. They’ll need to do a lot more in front of the net to get two points against the Fancy Cats.

The Panthers

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Verhaeghe – Barkov – White
Luostarinen – Bennett – Tkachuk
Lomberg – Lundell – Reinhart
Cousins – Staal – Hornqvist
Forsling – Ekblad
Staal – Montour
Mahura – Gudas
Via George Richards (of Florida Hockey Now), Spencer Knight starts with Sergei Bobrovsky backing up. And Sasha Barkov returns from his one game illness absence. They have no healthy extras.
It’s a veritable buffet of former Flames! It’s Matthew Tkachuk’s first game against the Flames ever! It’ll be Sam Bennett’s second game against Calgary and Ryan Lomberg’s third. If nothing else, both sides will have some emotional engagement and we’ll see if Tkachuk tries to drag the Flames into any shenanigans by crashing the net or whacking somebody on the butt with his stick.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Panthers are without Anthony Duclair.

The numbers

FlamesPanthers
7Wins9
16 (.500)Points (%)19 (.559)
53.3xGF%56.1
20.8PP%18.2
80.7PK%78.5

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these teams in 2022-23. They split their two games last season, with the home team winning each game.

Social life

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