After a rare home loss on Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames (38-17-8, 84 points) are back in action. They kick off a back-to-back set on Friday night when they host the Arizona Coyotes (20-39-4, 44 points), in a warm-up for what should be a very interesting Battle of Alberta on Saturday night. Can the Flames bounce back from a loss to San Jose? Can they avoid overlooking the Coyotes with the Oilers looming?
The puck drops just after 7 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 – @Tyler Toffoli
@Dillon Dube – @Mikael Backlund – @Matthew Tkachuk
@Andrew Mangiapane – @Calle Jarnkrok – @Blake Coleman
@Milan Lucic – @Trevor Lewis – @Brett Ritchie
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Oliver Kylington – @Chris Tanev
@Nikita Zadorov – @Erik Gudbranson
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@Jacob Markstrom is expected to start, backed up by @Daniel Vladar. Via our pal Pat Steinberg, it sounds like @Sean Monahan and @Ryan Carpenter skated late, suggesting they’ll join @Michael Stone as healthy scratches. We’ll find out at warm-up!
The Flames have 19 games to go and look to be a shoo-in for the post-season. But the name of the game right now is preparation, so we’re seeing (and will likely continue to see) the coaching staff doing a lot of tinkering and tweaking throughout the lineup. The top three lines will likely keep getting shuffled, while the five men in the fourth line mix will also likely rotate. It’ll be interesting to see what sticks and what doesn’t going forward.
The Flames were super leaky defensively against San Jose, especially in the second half of the game, so look for them to try to tighten that up and be a bit more precise with their transition play in an attempt to avoid so many turnovers.
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The Coyotes

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Clayton Keller – @Alex Galchenyuk – @Nick Schmaltz
@Michael Carcone – @Travis Boyd – @Phil Kessel
@Nick Ritchie – @Barrett Hayton – @Loui Eriksson
@Matias Maccelli – @Christian Fischer – @Lawson Crouse
@Shayne Gostisbehere – @Dysin Mayo
@Kyle Capobianco – @Anton Stralman
@Cam Dineen – @Vladislav Kolyachonok
Expect to see @Karel Vejmelka starting for Arizona, backed up by @Josef Korenar. Their projected extras are @Jack McBain (who literally just signed) and @Harri Sateri.
The Coyotes are 40 points behind the Flames and are playing for next season, where they’ll be toiling in a brand-new college arena at Arizona State with far fewer seats than available at Gila River Arena this year. They’re streaky of late, following a run where they won six of seven with their current three game losing skid. They have some good pieces, but they lack depth and their recent swath of injuries have made life tough on them.
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The numbers

Calgary
Arizona
Wins
38
20
Points (%)
84 (.667)
44 (.349)
Adjusted Corsi For
57.2%
42.4%
Expected Goals For
55.7%
43.0%
Power Play
23.9%
13.8%
Penalty Kill
85.4%
73.9%

Unfit to play

The Flames are healthy.
The Coyotes are without Conor Timmins, Bryan Little, Liam O’Brien, Jay Beagle, Dmitrj Jaskin, Andrew Ladd, Antoine Roussel, Jakob Chychrun and Janis Moser.

When last we met

This is the second of three meetings between these two teams. The Flames beat Arizona 4-2 back in February. They’ll meet one more time in April.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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