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The Calgary Flames (19-14-7, 45 points) complete the first half of their regular season schedule on Sunday night in one of the National Hockey League’s best buildings. They’re out east to face the Chicago Blackhawks (9-25-4, 22 points), a team way down the standings that has their mind more on Connor Bedard than Lord Stanley these days.
The broadcast begins at 5 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 extras are Connor Mackey, Jakob Pelletier and Walker Duehr. We don’t expect any changes from how the Flames looked in their last outing against the Islanders.
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The Flames were good but not great against the Islanders on Friday night. They stayed out of the penalty box, taking just one minor, and they out-scored the Isles 4-1 at even strength. But their power play was not good – Darryl Sutter termed it “irrelevant,” while Nazem Kadri said “It sucked.” The Flames quite simply need more from their power play units.
Elias Lindholm’s line was the only one not to score against the Islanders, so keep an eye on that trio against Chicago.

The Blackhawks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Athanasiou – Domi – Reichel
T.Johnson – Toews – Raddysh
Kurashev – Dickinson – Seney
R.Johnson – Laffety – Blackwell
McCabe – S.Jones
C.Jones – Murphy
Johnson – Mitchell
Alex Stalock is expected to start in net, backed up by Petr Mrazek. Their healthy extras are Boris Katchouk and Isaak Phillips. Patrick Kane remains out day-to-day with a minor injury.
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The Blackhawks beat Arizona last time out, with Stalock posting a shutout. Despite that, they’re dead last in the NHL standings. They’re a team that lags behind the majority of the league in most performance metrics – aside from perhaps special teams.
They’re the type of team that good teams beat.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Brett Ritchie.
The Blackhawks are without Mackenzie Entwhistle, Jujhar Khaira, Jarred Tinordi and Patrick Kane.

The numbers

Flames
Blackhawks
19
Wins
9
45 (.563)
Points (%)
22 (.289)
54.1
xGF%
41.1
18.6
PP%
19.8
81.8
PK%
73.5

Head to head

This is the first of three meetings between these teams this season. The Flames won all three of their meetings last season, out-scoring Chicago by a combined 15-5 score.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Blackhawks Twitter: