After a pretty good game against an exhausted opponent on Thursday, the Calgary Flames (12-12-3, 27 points) have a chance to prove it wasn’t a fluke tonight when they host the Montreal Canadiens (12-7-7, 31 points) again. Can the Flames put together another good effort and nudge above .500 for the first time in 10 games. (.500 in points percentage, not .500 in winning more than half of their games…)
The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT and you can catch the game on Sportsnet West and City TV or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ritchie
Lucic – Backlund – Mangiapane
Bennett – Ryan – Leivo
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Kylington – Valimaki
Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The projected active extra is Nikita Nesterov, while Joakim Nordstrom is out with a lower body injury. The taxi squad is Louis Domingue, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Buddy Robinson, Zac Rinaldo and Derek Ryan. (Kylington and Ryan will be activated for the game.)
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Were the Flames perfect on Thursday? Nope! But they were good enough to beat a tired Montreal team, and they did a good job making life tough on the Habs. The challenge will be for the Flames to do it again, as they’ve been almost frustratingly up and down this season. If they can string together some strong outings, maybe fans will be ready to get emotionally invested in them for the last 25 games of the season.

The Canadiens

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Drouin – Suzuki – Anderson
Toffoli – Kotkaniemi – Gallagher
Tatar – Danault – Armia
Byron – Lehkonen – Perry
Romanov – Weber
Edmundson – Petry
Kulak – Mete
Carey Price starts for Montreal, backed up by Jake Allen. Their extra is Jake Evans. Their taxi squad is Charlie Lindgren, Xavier Ouellet, Laurent Dauphin, Michael Frolik and Nick Suzuki, who’ll be activated for the game.
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Montreal was not good on Thursday. But they’ll almost definitely be more rested, more engaged and generally better tonight. The Flames will have their hands full.

The numbers

Calgary
Montreal
Wins
12
11
Points (%)
27 (.500)
31 (.596)
Adjusted Corsi For
50.9%
56.8%
Expected Goals For
52.2%
55.7%
Power Play
20.4%
21.9%
Penalty Kill
80.2%
77.9%

The drive to 65

If you peruse most standings projections, it becomes apparent that 65 points probably gets you into the playoffs. That’s a 32-23-1 record, or thereabouts, or a .580 points percentage.
The Flames have an 12-12-3 record, 27 points, and a .500 points percentage. They need 38 more points to punch their ticket to the post-season with 29 games remaining, which would translate to a .655 points percentage over the remaining games.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Joakim Nordstrom.
The Canadiens are without Ben Chiarot.

When last we met

The Flames have won two of their first three games against Montreal.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest: