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Flames Game Day 66: A Tuesday night clash against the Avalanche (7pm MT, SN West)

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Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
Earlier in March, the two top teams in the Western Conference met in Denver for a Saturday night game. Both teams were rested, and the game was fantastic. On Tuesday night in Calgary, the Calgary Flames (40-17-8, 88 points) and the Colorado Avalanche (46-14-6, 98 points) meet again under similar circumstances. Both teams added prior to the trade deadline. Both teams hope to make playoff noise. Both teams are very fun to watch.
This game should be good.
The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT. Catch all the action on Sportsnet West or Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Johnny Gaudreau – @Elias Lindholm – @Matthew Tkachuk
@Andrew Mangiapane – @Mikael Backlund – @Tyler Toffoli
@Dillon Dube – @Calle Jarnkrok – @Blake Coleman
@Milan Lucic – @Sean Monahan – @Trevor Lewis
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Oliver Kylington – @Chris Tanev
@Nikita Zadorov – @Erik Gudbranson
We’re expecting @Jacob Markstrom to start, backed up by @Daniel Vladar. The projected extras are @Michael Stone, @Brett Ritchie and @Ryan Carpenter. Monahan returns to action after not dressing in either part of the weekend’s back-to-back set.
The good? The Flames have scored a crap-ton of goals lately, erupting for nine goals against Edmonton. When their top line is on, and they’ve been on lately, they’re as dangerous as anybody in hockey. The bad? Man, the Flames have been leaky defensively at times over the last little while. Turnovers, bad breakouts, and general brainfarts with the puck on their stick in the defensive and neutral zones have made their lives more difficult than they should be.
If the Flames can button it up defensively, this could be a heck of a game. If they’re as iffy as they have been in spurts over the past few games, this could be a very long night for them.

The Avalanche

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Valeri Nichushkin – @Nazem Kadri – @Mikko Rantanen
@Andre Burakovsky – @Alex Newhook – @JT Compher
@Artturi Lehkonen – @Nico Sturm – @Nicolas Aube-Kubel
@Andrew Cogliano – @Darren Helm – @Logan O’Connor
@Devin Toews – @Cale Makar
@Josh Manson – @Jack Johnson
@Kurtis MacDermid – @Erik Johnson
@Darcy Kuemper is expected to start for Colorado, backed up by @Pavel Francouz. @Artturi Lehkonen has just cleared immigration hurdles and will play today. He’s slotting in and functionally replacing @Nathan MacKinnon, who’s out with an upper body injury.
The Avalanche are on the cusp of becoming the first NHL team to rack up 100 standings points, and for good reason: they’re quite good. They’ve been challenged by injuries and their cap situation is somewhat tenuous, but they play with pace, structure, and they can roll two or three really dangerous scoring lines and two really good defensive pairings.
As it stands, Colorado is probably the team to beat in the West – and perhaps in the entire NHL – this season.

The numbers

CalgaryColorado
Wins4046
Points (%)88 (.677)98 (.742)
Adjusted Corsi For57.4%54.6%
Expected Goals For55.9%52.6%
Power Play23.9%24.9%
Penalty Kill84.5%78.4%

Unfit to play

The Flames are healthy.
The Avalanche are without Gabriel Landeskog, Bowen Byram, Samuel Girard, Ryan Murray and Nathan MacKinnon.

When last we met

This is the third and final meeting between these teams this season. They split the two prior meetings, both in Denver, though Calgary’s win was in overtime so the Avalanche have captured three of a possible four points.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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