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For the third time in four days, the Calgary Flames (4-4-1, 9 points) face off against the Winnipeg Jets (6-3-1, 13 points) in yet another crucial North Division clash! The Flames continued their one-step-forward, one-step-backward season with a loss on Tuesday in Winnipeg, and they’re hoping to get two points in a jam-packed North Division and build some momentum towards a looming Battle of Alberta in a few days.

The action starts at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

For a view from the other side, check out our frenemies over at JetsNation!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Simon
Mangiapane – Backlund – Leivo
Lucic – Ryan – Nordstrom

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Valimaki – Nesterov

Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. Sam Bennett will be a healthy scratch and Dominik Simon slots back in. The other extra active player on the trip is Buddy Robinson, and the taxi squad of Louis Domingue, Connor Mackey, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone and Zac Rinaldo. (Derek Ryan plays tonight, using up the 10th and final game of his waiver exemption.)

The Flames are technically below .500, having lost five of their first nine games. Aside from that one game in Montreal they haven’t looked awful, but they’ve lacked consistency – which has been a character trait of this team for the last while. If the Flames can play a consistent 60 minute game, they’re tough to beat given their depth. If they can’t, they’re a team that can get in their own way – Derek Ryan described them as “stubborn” on Tuesday night, as the style of game they sometimes need to play through the neutral zone isn’t pretty, and sometimes they prefer to carry the puck and dangle (which leads to turnovers and pain). We’ll see if the Flames can be more consistent and less stubborn against the Jets tonight.

The Jets

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Copp – Scheifele – Ehlers
Connor – Stastny – Wheeler
Perreault – Lowry – Appleton
Vesalainen – Gustafsson – Lewis

Morrissey – Demelo
Forbort – Pionk
Stanley – Beaulieu

Connor Hellebuyck starts for the Jets, backed up by Laurent Brossoit. The Jets will be without Jansen Harkins due to a minor injury. Their extras are Anton Forsberg and Sami Niku. Their taxi squad is Ville Heinola, Dylan Samberg, Cole Perfetti and Nelson Nogier. Pierre-Luc Dubois remains unavailable as he works through the mandated quarantine after crossing the border.

The Jets faded as the game went on back on Monday, but they were much more consistent on Tuesday as they did a great job clogging up the neutral zone against the Flames once they got their lead. If the Jets can dictate the pace and where the game is played, they’ll have a good shot at grinding out another two points.

The numbers

Calgary Winnipeg
Wins 4 6
Points (%) 9 (.500) 13 (.650)
Adjusted Corsi For 52.2% 49.5%
Expected Goals 54.2% 47.9%
Power Play 25.0% 21.6%
Penalty Kill 78.1% 78.6%

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 a 4-4-1 record and nine points. To hit 65 points, they need 56 points in their remaining 47 games – the equivalent of a .596 points percentage.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are healthy.

The Jets are without Bryan Little, Dominic Toninato and Nate Thompson. Pierre-Luc Dubois is on the COVID-19 unavailable list due to quarantine regulations, while Tucker Poolman is considered a non-roster player as he works back to game action after spending some time on the unavailable list. Jansen Harkins is out tonight with a minor injury.

When last we met

The Flames lost to the Jets 3-2 on Tuesday. The Jets have won two of the three meetings between the teams this season and all three have been decided by a single goal. The Jets have captured five of a possible six points (2-0-1) while the Flames have captured three (1-1-1).

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:


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