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The Calgary Flames (18-13-7, 43 points) begin their 2023 portion of their schedule with a game against an old conference foe, the Winnipeg Jets (23-13-1, 47 points). The Jets are comfortably in a playoff spot, for now, while the Flames have worked their way firmly into the mix with a strong December performance. Two important points will be on the line in downtown Winnipeg.
The broadcast begins at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Kadri – Lucic
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Ruzicka – Zohorna – Lewis
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
We’re expecting Jacob Markstrom to start, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected healthy extra is Connor Mackey. Per our pal Pat Steinberg, Brett Ritchie didn’t participate in Monday’s practice after leaving Saturday’s game with an apparent injury. Between that and this report from Winnipeg from Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, it seems a safe bet that Ritchie is replaced by Radim Zohorna.
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The Flames had a heck of a December. After dropping to .500 on Dec. 1 in a loss to Montreal (despite the Flames wildly out-shooting the Habs), the Flames went 8-3-4 to close out the month. They probably still haven’t gotten all parts of their game going at once, but a good December has them firmly in the mix and now they’re masters of their own fate. If they win enough games against conference foes, they’ll qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
No better time than the present to keep that process going, right?

The Jets

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Connor – Dubois – Reichel
Lowry – Scheifele – Kuhlman
Barron – Stenlund – Jonsson-Fjallby
Eyssimont – Gustafsson – Gagner
Morrissey – DeMelo
Dillon – Heinola
Samberg – Pionk
We’re projecting Connor Hellebuyck in net, backed up by David Rittich. Kyle Capobianco is the lone healthy extra. Nate Schmidt (on the injury reserve) is said to be a game-time decision and Nikolaj Ehlers (on the IR) and Cole Perfetti (on the active roster) are reportedly “close” to returning, per the Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck. Needless to say, we’ll find out at warm-up.
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Regardless of their many, many injuries this season, the Jets have been chugging along nicely this season. They begin the 2023 side of their season in second place in the Central Division, but they’re just six points up on fourth place Colorado… and potentially falling outside of the playoff pack. Needless to say, the Jets just need to keep winning games and staying ahead of the rest of the pack.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Brett Ritchie.
The Jets are without Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, Nate Schmidt, Mason Appleton, Logan Stanley and Saku Maenalanen.

The numbers

Flames
Jets
18
Wins
23
43 (.566)
Points (%)
47 (.635)
54.0
xGF%
49.5
19.2
PP%
23.9
81.1
PK%
82.4

Head to head

This is the second of three meetings between these teams this season. The Flames beat the Jets in Calgary back in November.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Jets Twitter: