For the second consecutive outing, it could be a “win and they’re in” scenario for the Calgary Flames (45-20-9, 99 points) as they host a Western Conference foe at the Saddledome. On Thursday, they lost 6-1 to Vegas. Tonight, they host the Arizona Coyotes (22-47-5, 49 points), and depending on what happens in the afternoon games the Flames could punch their ticket to the post-season with a good performance. Heck, they could even clinch home ice in round one.
The puck drops just a shade after 8 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on CBC, Sportsnet’s national feed (and Sportsnet One), and City TV, or on the radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Johnny Gaudreau – @Elias Lindholm – @Matthew Tkachuk
@Andrew Mangiapane – @Mikael Backlund – @Tyler Toffoli
@Dillon Dube – @Calle Jarnkrok – @Blake Coleman
@Milan Lucic – @Adam Ruzicka – @Trevor Lewis
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@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Oliver Kylington – @Chris Tanev
@Nikita Zadorov – @Erik Gudbranson
After getting yanked in each of the past two games, we’re expecting @Jacob Markstrom to return to the net and be backed up by @Daniel Vladar. The expected scratches are @Brett Ritchie, @Connor Mackey, @Michael Stone and @Ryan Carpenter. If Ruzicka plays, it seems likely that his emergency recall will be converted into a “regular” recall.
On Thursday night, here’s what head coach Darryl Sutter said was missing from his team: “Urgency, energy, emotion, those things. One team was way more focused and urgent.” That’s not a great thing to be missing against a divisional foe, and the Flames will be looking to prove that their flat performance against Vegas was a one-off, an aberration, a fluke, and not some signal for doom and gloom with the playoffs around the corner.
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The Flames’ magic number against Los Angeles is 0.5 and against Vegas is 1.5.
  • No matter what anybody else does, the Flames clinch a playoff berth with a point in this game (because the Kings couldn’t pass them in the standings).
  • If Edmonton beats Vegas in regulation on Saturday afternoon, the Flames also clinch (because the Golden Knights couldn’t pass them in the standings).
  • If both of those things happen, the Flames clinch second place in the Pacific (because then the Kings and Golden Knights couldn’t pass them in the standings).

The Coyotes

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Nick Ritchie – @Travis Boyd – @Nick Schmaltz
@Michael Carcone – @Barrett Hayton – @Phil Kessel
@Matias Maccelli – @Nathan Smith – @Andrew Ladd
@Jay Beagle – @Jack McBain – @Loui Eriksson
@Shayne Gostisbehere – @Dysin Mayo
@Janis Moser – @Anton Stralman
@Cam Dineen – @Vladislav Kolyachonok
@Harri Sateri starts for Arizona, backed up by @Karel Vejmelka. Their extras are @Alex Galchenyuk and @Kyle Capobianco.
The Coyotes have lost five games in a row and six of their past seven games. Over their five game losing skid, they’ve been out-scored 29-6. They’re in last place in the entire NHL. They’re looking ahead to next season already.
If you’re hoping for a Flames reset game, the Coyotes may be an ideal opponent. They’re not bad, necessarily, but they’ve been less of the sum of their parts this season and they are a team that a systems-based checking team like the Flames can grind down over the course of three periods.
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The numbers

Calgary
Arizona
Wins
45
22
Points (%)
99 (.669)
49 (.331)
Adjusted Corsi For
57.4%
42.5%
Expected Goals For
55.6%
42.6%
Power Play
23.7%
14.2%
Penalty Kill
83.8%
72.8%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Sean Monahan.
The Coyotes are without Bryan Little, Liam O’Brien, Clayton Keller, Antoine Roussel, Conor Timmins, Dmitrij Jaskin, Lawson Crouse, Jakob Chychrun and Christian Fischer.

When last we met

The Flames have beaten Arizona twice by identical 4-2 scores, the most recent being in Calgary on Mar. 25.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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