The Calgary Flames (19-14-5, 43 points) look to finish off their pre-Christmas schedule and their last minute shopping with a trek to an area arguably best known for their mall (and a lot of lakes). The Flames are visiting the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Wild (17-15-5, 39 points), hoping to continue their strong play after a 5-1 victory yesterday in Dallas.

The puck drops just after 3 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 – Dube
Rinaldo – Rieder – Bennett

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Stone – Andersson

Cam Talbot starts, backed up by David Rittich. Today’s scratches are Oliver Kylington, Michael Frolik and Mark Jankowski. Dillon Dube returns after sitting yesterday in Dallas.

The Flames have been getting better lately on back-to-back games this season, but here’s how they’ve done thus far:

  • Oct. 12 & 13: two losses (Vegas and San Jose)
  • Nov. 2 & 3: win (Columbus) and loss (Washington)
  • Nov. 16 & 17: two losses (Arizona and Vegas)
  • Dec. 9 & 10: two wins (Colorado and Arizona)

Emptying the tank and finding a way to grind out a win against the Wild would do a lot to send the Flames into the break feeling good about themselves and set the table for a really crucial series of games post-break: Vancouver, Edmonton, and Chicago close out their 2019 schedule.

The Wild

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Parise – Staal – Zuccarello
Donato – Eriksson Ek – Fiala
Greenway – Sturm – Kunin
Foligno – Rask – Hartman

Suter – Spurgeon
Brodin – Soucy
Hunt – Dumb

Devan Dubnyk starts for the Wild, backed up by Alex Stalock. Nick Seeler is their lone healthy extra body right now. Joel Eriksson Ek is expected to return today after missing a bit of time.

The Wild have been all over the place lately. Their last game was a 6-0 home loss to Winnipeg. Prior to that, they beat Arizona 8-5. Prior to that, they lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to Vegas. Prior to that, they lost 5-3 to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks. The thing Minnesota will be asking Santa for is some game-to-game consistency. They’re either very good, or they’re not.

The Numbers

Flames Wild
Wins 19 17
Points 43 39
Adjusted Corsi 50.3% 48.2%
Power Play 19.8% 17.4%
Penalty Kill 84.8% 76.8%

Injury Report

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

The Wild are missing F Mason Shaw (knee), D Greg Pateryn (hernia), F Mikko Koivu (lower body) and F Jason Zucker (leg).

When Last We Met

This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. (They’ll play twice more by mid-January to close things out.) Minnesota beat the Flames 4-2 in Calgary back in March.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: