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The Calgary Flames (22-17-5, 49 points) are undefeated in 2020 (through two games) and have their fathers and other male mentors on this road trip. After beating Minnesota, they’re in the Windy City to face the Chicago Blackhawks (19-18-6, 44 points) as they try to continue their winning ways.

The action begins just after 6:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Hamonic
Brodie – Stone

Cam Talbot starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. Today’s projected scratches are… unclear.

The Flames are finding ways to win, but as per the norm this season they’re doing in the hard way. The Flames have spent more time trailing in games than just about every team in the NHL, and if they want to be anything but a playoff bubble team that has got to change. The hockey club simply hasn’t kicked it into full gear yet this season and through 44 games they’ve been sputtering. That said, the talent level is such that even a wildly inconsistent performance such as we’ve seen has them smack-dab in the middle of the playoff picture.

Just imagine if they could put together good 60 minute efforts with regularity.

The Blackhawks

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Kubalik – Toews – Quenneville
Sikura – Carpenter – Kane
Debrincat – Dach – Strome
Smith – Kampf – Highmore

Keith – Boqvist
Gustafsson – Murphy
Maatta – Gilbert

Corey Crawford starts for Chicago, backed up by Kevin Lankinen. Their projected extras are Alexander Nylander and Slater Koekkoek.

The Blackhawks are a depleted group this season for sure, but they might be the opposite of the Flames. The Flames are an uber-talented group beset by inconsistency. The Blackhawks are an arguably under-talented group that has elevated themselves through persistence, hard work, and a few impressive performances from some of their lesser-known players.

Keep an eye on Alex Debrincat tonight, as he was dangerous as heck in Calgary eight days ago.

The Numbers

Flames Blackhawks
Wins 22 19
Points 49 44
Adjusted Corsi 50.0% 47.5%
Power Play 19.1% 15.3%
Penalty Kill 82.3% 81.4%

Injury Report

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

The Blackhawks are missing F Drake Caggiula (concussion), F Andrew Shaw (concussion), D Calvin de Haan (shoulder), F Brandon Saad (ankle), D Brent Seabrook (shoulder) and G Robin Lehner (knee).

When Last We Met

The Flames lost to Chicago 5-3 on New Year’s Eve, trailing 4-0 at one point. They’ll close out the season series in five weeks back in Calgary.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: