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Flames Game Day 71: Diving into the Shark Tank (8:30pm MT, SN West)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
Less than 24 hours after beating the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames (42-19-9, 93 points) are back in action… this time in northern California. The Flames are in the Bay Area to face the San Jose Sharks (29-31-9, 67 points), a team that’s given them issues this season. Can the Flames finally solve the Sharks as they try to capture a playoff spot and inch closer to a Pacific Division crown?
The puck drops just after 8:30 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 – @Trevor Lewis – @Blake Coleman
@Milan Lucic – @Ryan Carpenter – @Brett Ritchie
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Connor Mackey – @Chris Tanev
@Juuso Valimaki – @Michael Stone
Update: @Daniel Vladar starts. Flames make a few changes, too. Zadorov, Gudbranson and Ruzicka out, with Ritchie, Mackey and Valimaki coming in.
The Flames don’t skate today, so we’ll have to wait to see who plays tonight in net: @Jacob Markstrom or @Daniel Vladar. Markstrom has started each of the last eight games, including the last back-to-back set (albeit one that was two home games with zero travel involved). Yesterday’s healthy extras were @Connor Mackey and @Juuso Valimaki, while @Brett Ritchie (lower body) and @Calle Jarnkrok (illness) sat out. @Oliver Kylington (unspecified injury) remains in Calgary.
The Flames are 8-4-1 this season in the second half of back-to-back sets, and oddly head coach Darryl Sutter rarely tinkers with his lineup on the backside of them. It’ll be interesting to see if the Flames are able to maintain their consistent defensive play: they opened up a bit in the third period against Anaheim, but they were generally pretty good and their general… pretty goodness in all three zones has them on the cusp of clinching a playoff spot. (Per our pal Pat Steinberg, their magic number to clinch is five: any combination of five Flames wins or Vegas losses clinches a spot.)
@Johnny Gaudreau reached 97 points with a two point effort on Wednesday. He’s just three points away from hitting 100 for the first time in his career. We bet he does it, probably before the road trip ends.

The Sharks

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Alexander Barabanov – @Tomas Hertl – @Timo Meier
@Noah Gregor – @Logan Couture – @Sasha Chmelevski
@Rudolfs Balcers – @Nick Bonino – @Matthew Nieto
@Jonathan Dahlen – @Scott Reedy – @Jeffrey Viel
@Jaycob Megna – @Brent Burns
@Mario Ferraro – @Erik Karlsson
@Marc-Edouard Vlasic – @Nicolas Meloche
We expect @James Reimer to start, backed up by @Kaapo Kahkonen. Their extras are @Ryan Merkley and @Radim Simek.
The Sharks are playing out the string and working some of their younger players into the lineup, somewhat facilitated by some injury trouble up and down their lineup. The Sharks have been a tough out all season, but the hope is by next season some of their key prospects will be able to take more prominent roles in the club and push them out of the league’s mushy middle and into playoff contention.

The numbers

CalgarySan Jose
Wins4229
Points (%)93 (.664)67 (.486)
Adjusted Corsi For57.4%44.8%
Expected Goals For55.6%47.1%
Power Play23.5%19.2%
Penalty Kill83.2%85.1%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Sean Monahan, Oliver Kylington and Brett Ritchie.
The Sharks are without Kevin Labanc, Nikolai Knyzhov, Adin Hill, John Leonard and Jonah Gadjovich.

When last we met

Believe it or not, the Flames have lost all three of their previous games against San Jose in regulation. They lost 4-3 to the Sharks in Calgary back in late March.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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