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After an impressive win on Friday, the Calgary Flames (20-23-3, 43 points) will attempt to reel in a playoff spot, or at least inch closer, when they play the second of three games in a row against the Montreal Canadiens (20-16-9, 49 points). The Flames absolutely need regulation wins, and more efforts like the other night’s could get them there.

The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT and you can catch the game on Sportsnet West and City TV or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Mangiapane – Monahan – Dube
Lucic – Backlund – Nordstrom
n/a – Ryan – Ritchie

Giordano – Tanev
Hanifin – Andersson
Valimaki – Stone
Nesterov

Jacob Markstrom starts, backed up by Louis Domingue. The projected extra is Buddy Robinson. The taxi squad is Artyom Zagidulin, Oliver Kylington, Zac Rinaldo, Byron Froese, Glenn Gawdin and Dominik Simon.

The Flames rolled with 11 forwards and seven defensemen last night in Josh Leivo’s absence – Darryl Sutter felt it would’ve been tough to throw Robinson in for Leivo – and it worked out pretty well, as the club just rolled forwards through their lines and seemed to catch the Habs off-guard with some interesting combinations. Expect the same set-up this evening.

The Canadiens

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tatar – Danault – Anderson
Toffoli – Suzuki – Armia
Lehkonen – Kotkaniemi – Byron
xx – Staal – Perry

Chiarot – Weber
Edmundson – Petry
Roman – Merrill
Gustafsson

The expectation right now is that Cayden Primeau starts for Montreal, backed up by Jake Allen. (We’ll update once Montreal has their availability today.) Their extras are Carey Price (injured), Jonathan Drouin (illness) and Brett Kulak. Their taxi squad is Charlie Lindgren, Xavier Oullett, Jake Evans, Cole Caufield and Michael Frolik.

Drouin was a late scratch last night due to a non-COVID illness, but he’s likely a question mark for tonight. Barring anything odd happening, it seems like we’ll see the Habs go 11 forwards, seven defensemen like they did last night.

The numbers

Calgary Montreal
Wins 20 20
Points (%) 43 (.467) 49 (.544)
Adjusted Corsi For 52.3% 54.9%
Expected Goals For 52.9% 53.3%
Power Play 20.0% 18.9%
Penalty Kill 80.9% 77.2%

Playoff hopes and dreams

The Flames’ tragic number is 7.5. Any combination of 7.5 Calgary losses and Montreal wins eliminates the Flames from playoff contention. Their magic number is 14.5. Any combination of 14.5 Flames wins and Montreal losses clinch the Flames a playoff spot.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Josh Leivo.

The Canadiens are without Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher.

When last we met

The Flames have won five of their first seven games against Montreal. Including tonight, they face Montreal two more times before the end of the season.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:


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