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Flames Game Day 42: Back(-to-back) in the desert (7:30pm MT, SN 360/West)

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Photo credit:Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
Roughly 25 hours after the start of their previous game, the Calgary Flames (22-13-6, 50 points) are back in action with their final game before the All-Star Break. Their opponent is the Arizona Coyotes (11-29-4, 26 points), the second-worst team in the NHL and likely destined to play in a small college arena for the next three seasons. Can the Flames follow up their dramatic comeback from Tuesday night with a strong 60 minutes before the break?
This game gets going just after 7:30 p.m. MT. You can catch the action on Sportsnet 360 (and joined in progress on Sportsnet West), and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. (For your channel-surfing enjoyment, there’s also a World Cup qualifying soccer game and a women’s Olympic hockey game on tonight, too.)

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Coleman – Backlund – Mangiapane
Dube – Monahan – Ritchie
Lucic – Ruzicka – Lewis
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson
Due to the back-to-back situation there was no morning skate, so it’s a bit of guesswork prior to warm-up. We suspect that Jacob Markstrom gets a do-over after allowing three goals on 23 shots in the first two periods against Dallas, which means Dan Vladar (last night’s winner in relief) probably backs up. (Again, we’re making assumptions and we’ll update this as information becomes available.) The extras are Michael Stone, Brad Richardson and (injured) Tyler Pitlick, while Connor Mackey and Byron Froese are on the taxi squad.
The Flames have played pretty well lately, though some defensive snafus have put them behind the eight ball. In some ways, they might be taking cues from their game against Vancouver earlier this week: they played smart, structured, patient hockey and waited for their spots. They played similarly against Dallas, with some slight tweaks leading to more zone time and allowing them to wear Dallas down in the third period. If they can play that smart and that structured against Arizona, it seems like a good recipe for a W and two points as they head into four days of rest.

The Coyotes

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Keller – Galchenyuk – Schmaltz
Crouse – Boyd – Kessel
Roussel – Nash – Fischer
O’Brien – Dzingel – Ladd
Gostisbehere – Mayo
Moser – Stralman
Chychrun – Lyubushkin
Karel Vejmelka starts for Arizona, backed up by Scott Wedgewood. Their active extras last night were Kyle Capobianco, Johan Larsson and Loui Eriksson, while Cam Dineen is on their taxi squad. Given the back-to-back situation, we might see some changes from last night’s lineup.
How can we say this nicely? The Coyotes aren’t very good, folks. They’re basically the island of misfit toys, collecting other teams’ unwanted players in exchange for draft picks. They’re also almost homeless, with their future in the Phoenix area to be determined by Tempe City Council, the Arizona State University Board of Regents, and any number of other administrative bodies.
The Coyotes can surprise teams and they’re not short on work ethic. But they’re a beatable hockey club.

The numbers

CalgaryArizona
Wins2211
Points (%)50 (.610)26 (.295)
Adjusted Corsi For56.8%43.2%
Expected Goals For55.2%44.8%
Power Play21.5%12.7%
Penalty Kill84.2%72.7%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Tyler Pitlick.
The Coyotes are without Carter Hutton, Conor Timmins, Barrett Hayton, Jay Beagle and Dmitrj Jaskin.

When last we met

This is the first of three meetings between these clubs this season. They last met in March 2020, the week before the pandemic began, and the Flames won 3-2.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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