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Flames Game Day 43: A clash with the Golden Knights (7:30pm MT, SN 360)

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Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
A week after their last game, the Calgary Flames (23-13-6, 52 points) are back in action! And it’s going to be a big game atmosphere at the Saddledome, as the Vegas Golden Knights (28-16-3, 59 points) come to town just 24 hours after dispatching of the Edmonton Oilers. Can the Flames shake off the rust and take advantage of a scheduled win? Or will the powerhouse Golden Knights prevail in this clash of Pacific Division contenders?
This game gets going just after 7:30 p.m. MT. You can catch the action on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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
@Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by @Daniel Vladar. The projected extras for Calgary are @Michael Stone, @Brad Richardson and @Tyler Pitlick. The Flames are rolling with the exact same lineup they’ve had for the past half-dozen games; they’ve won five of their past six outings.
The Flames were playing some of their best hockey of the season prior to the All-Star Break. If you’re a pessimist, you might remember that they were playing pretty well (a) in the past few seasons prior to the mid-season break and (b) this season prior to their 19-day COVID pause and things were derailed a bit by those pauses. The hope is that the Flames have kept their mojo going and can maintain the momentum they gained with a few really strong performances prior to the break. A win can help the Flames pull the Golden Knights closer in the Pacific Division playoff race.
As always, keep an eye on the top line of @Johnny Gaudreau, @Elias Lindholm and @Matthew Tkachuk. If the locals are going to pick up two points tonight, odds are the top line will need to be the best players on the ice for either side.

The Golden Knights

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Pacioretty – Stephenson – Stone
Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Janmark – Roy – Dadonov
Carrier – Howden – Kolesar
Hague – Pietrangelo
McNabb – Theodore
Hutton – Coghlan
@Robin Lehner starts for the Golden Knights, backed up by @Laurent Brossoit (who started last night against Edmonton). Vegas’ extras are @Mike Amadio, @Nolan Patrick and @Daniil Miromanov. They’re on the second half of a back-to-back, so we might see some lineup shuffling given the situation.
@Jack Eichel remains on the injury reserve for Vegas. And they need to clear out a bunch of salary to activate him. But he’s skating and he’ll be a big addition for them. It’ll be very interesting to see how he’s integrated into what’s already quite a good hockey team, and to see what they need to jettison to make it work cap-wise.

The numbers

CalgaryVegas
Wins2328
Points (%)52 (.619)59 (.620)
Adjusted Corsi For57.1%52.4%
Expected Goals For55.6%52.2%
Power Play21.1%19.8%
Penalty Kill84.3%80.0%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Tyler Pitlick.
The Golden Knights are without Zach Whitecloud, Alec Martinez, Jack Eichel, Adam Brooks and Nicolas Hague.

When last we met

Vegas beat the Flames 3-2 at T-Mobile Arena back in early December. Historically, the home team has had a big edge in their match-ups.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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