After returning to action in Seattle before the weekend, the Calgary Flames (16-7-6, 38 points) attempt to continue their winning ways as they embark on a four game road trip starting Sunday evening against the Chicago Blackhawks (11-16-4, 26 points). It’s the Flames’ second attempt to play in Chicago in the past month, with their prior attempt being derailed by a slew of COVID-19 positive tests.
This game gets going at 5 p.m. MT. You can catch the action on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Lucic – Backlund – Coleman
Mangiapane – Dube – Pitlick
Richardson – Monahan – Lewis
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson
We’re expecting Jacob Markström to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Michael Stone and Adam Ruzicka.
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The Flames were pretty good, but not great, in Seattle on Thursday night. This is the opening game of a road trek that takes them into some really tough buildings against Florida, Tampa Bay and Carolina. You hate to say that a game against a sub-.500 team is a “must-win,” but they need to maintain momentum as they head into the tougher parts of this trip.
Two points against Chicago seem essential.

The Blackhawks

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Debrincat – Borgstrom – Kane
Hagel – Toews – Strome
Kubalik – Dach – Kurashev
Khaira – Carpenter – Entwhistle
de Haan – S.Jones
Stillman – Murphy
McCabe – Gustafsson
Arvid Soderblom starts for Chicago, backed up by Marc-Andre Fleury (who just got out of the COVID-19 protocol this morning). The extras yesterday were Caleb Jones, Kurtis Gabriel and Brett Connolly.
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This is almost a schedule loss for Chicago. They played on Saturday against Nashville and got shelled, with each of their goalies giving up three goals in a 6-1 loss to the Predators. Playing in a back-to-back situation, with travel, against a fairly rested Flames team doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.
That said, the Hawks will be trying to prove that they’re better than they showed against Nashville.

The numbers

Calgary
Chicago
Wins
16
11
Points (%)
38 (.655)
26 (.419)
Adjusted Corsi For
56.7%
45.7%
Expected Goals For
53.4%
45.7%
Power Play
23.3%
18.0%
Penalty Kill
84.9%
75.3%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Brett Ritchie.
The Blackhawks are without Marc-Andre Fleury, Kevin Lankinen, Andrew Shaw, Tyler Johnson and Reese Johnson.

When last we met

The Flames beat Chicago 5-2 back in late November.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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