Rss

Coming off a pair of losses, the Calgary Flames (18-14-4, 40 points) look to right the ship when they welcome perhaps their most significant historical rival, the Montreal Canadiens (16-12-6, 38 points). The Flames have lost twice after winning seven in a row, while Montreal won on Tuesday to kick off a lengthy road trip.

The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Monahan – Backlund – Dube
Lucic – Ryan – Gaudreau
Bennett – Rieder – Frolik

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich starts, backed up by Cam Talbot. The expected scratches are Michael Stone, Mark Jankowski and Zac Rinaldo.

The Flames have lost 4-0 and 4-1 coming off their epic seven game winning streak. And it’s weird, because they had two superb first periods against Carolina and Pittsburgh. But they’re not managing the game or the puck well, and interim coach Geoff Ward wants them to work on that. If the Flames can play every period like they played their last two first periods, they would be a heck of a hockey team.

That said, we’re 36 games into the season and I don’t think we’ve seen the Flames play a strong 60 minutes yet. They’re overdue for one.

The Canadiens

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Domi – Armia
Cousins – Suzuki – Weal
Poehling – Thompson – Barber

Chiarot – Weber
Kulak – Petry
Leskinen – Reilly

Carey Price starts for Montreal, backed up by Charlie Lindgren. The expected scratches are Cale Fleury (younger brother of Carolina defender Haydn Fleury, who was through here a week ago) and Lukas Vejdemo.

The Habs are missing a lot of bodies lately. But they’re figuring out ways to win. They’ve won four of their last five games, and basically every game in December has been a close loss (aside from a loss to Boston in early December) or a fairly decisive win. They’re on the road now until literally the end of the month: this is the second game of a four game Western trip, then they have a three game trip to Florida and Carolina at the end of the month.

The Numbers

Flames Canadiens
Wins 18 16
Points 40 38
Adjusted Corsi 50.4% 53.7%
Power Play 17.3% 21.7%
Penalty Kill 84.2% 76.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery).

The Canadiens are missing F Jonathan Drouin (wrist), F Paul Byron (knee), D Victor Mete (ankle), F Matthew Peca (leg) and F Jesperi Kotkaniemi (concussion).

When Last We Met

The Flames lost twice to Montreal last season, both times by 3-2 scores. They’ll play again in January to close out their season series.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter follows for tonight’s game: