Rss

The Calgary Flames (18-14-5, 41 points) look to finish off their pre-Christmas schedule with a bit of momentum as they kick off a brief two game road trip. Today they’re in Texas to visit the Dallas Stars (20-13-4, 44 points), hoping to snap a three game losing skid.

The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Monahan – Backlund – Gaudreau
Lucic – Ryan – Bennett
Rinaldo – Jankowski – Rieder

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Stone – Andersson

David Rittich starts, backed up by Cam Talbot (who likely starts tomorrow). The projected scratches are Dillon Dube, Michael Frolik and Oliver Kylington. There are a few lineup shuffles as Dube sits for the first time this season. It’s a back to back situation, so the idea may be to get every Flames player involved in games – interim coach Geoff Ward has been big on emphasizing team buy-in, and he might not want bodies sitting idle for too long.

Plus, via Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, Ward is tailoring the lineup a bit to the Stars’ style of play.

The Flames? They’ve lost three in a row off fairly bad second periods that negated really good first periods. They’ll need 60 strong minutes to make a big statement in Big D tonight.

The Stars

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hintz – Pavelski – Seguin
Cogliano – Faksa – Comeau
Benn – Dickinson – Perry
Gurianov – Dowling – Janmark

Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Sekera – Polak

Ben Bishop starts for Dallas, backed up by Anton Khudobin. Their extra body is Taylor Fedun.

Dallas has been one of the NHL’s better teams for the whole season to this point. Their secret is pretty simple: they don’t often lose consecutive games. They’re coming off a tough 7-4 loss to Florida on Friday and will likely be engaged and energized from puck drop as they try to make up for that setback.

The Numbers

Flames Stars
Wins 18 20
Points 41 44
Adjusted Corsi 50.2% 49.3%
Power Play 18.0% 17.3%
Penalty Kill 84.4% 84.0%

Injury Report

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

The Stars are missing F Martin Hanzal (back), D Stephen Johns (head) and Alexander Radulov (lower body).

When Last We Met

This is the third and final game between these two teams this season. The Flames won in Dallas in a shootout back in October, while Dallas beat the Flames in regulation in Calgary last month.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: