Flames Game Day 19: Facing some flightless birds in Pittsburgh (5pm MT, SN1/960)

Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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With three games down and three left in their lengthy six game road trip, the Calgary Flames (9-7-2, 20 points) have won twice on their trip and generally have played quite well. They’ll try to guarantee at least a .500 trip on Wednesday evening when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (9-7-3, 21 points).
The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Ruzicka – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Rooney – Lewis
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Tanev
Via Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, Dan Vladar was in the starter’s net for morning skate (backed up by Jacob Markstrom). It also looks like Connor Mackey will be a healthy scratch, while Brett Ritchie (day-to-day) and Michael Stone (injury reserve) are on the trip and skating but don’t look to be slotting in against the Penguins.
The Flames look like they’re starting to find their form. They’ve won back-to-back games and have won four of the last five games (after losing seven in a row). Their lines are starting to find chemistry and consistency, and suddenly the team’s looking like a less polished version of what a lot of people expected to see. If they can tidy up their defensive gaffes, look out.
Also, keep an eye on Jonathan Huberdeau. He’s looking more and more comfortable and confident on the ice alongside two-way stalwarts Blake Coleman and Mikael Backlund lately.

The Penguins

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Guentzel – Crosby – Rakell
Zucker – Malkin – Rust
McGinn – Carter – Heinen
Poehling – Blueger – Archibald
Pettersson – Letang
Joseph – Petry
Dumoulin – Rutta
Tristan Jarry is the projected starter, backed up by Casey DeSmith. (DeSmith got rattled last game and missed practice on Tuesday, but it looks like he’ll be fine and dress.) The projected extras look to be Kasperi Kapanen and Chad Ruhwedel.
The Penguins have been streaky this season, but they’re on a hot streak right now and have won three in a row. They’re a group that isn’t quite what they once were, but they have a few really nice high-end pieces that are capable of tilting games. (We see you, Sidney Crosby.)
Evgeni Malkin will be honoured before the game for reaching 1,000 NHL games last time out. He scored a goal in that game, which is quite fun.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone and Brett Ritchie.
The Penguins are healthy.

The numbers

20 (.556)Points (%)21 (.553)

Head to head

This is the second of two meetings between these clubs this season. The Flames beat Pittsburgh 4-1 at the Saddledome back in October.

Social life

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