The Flames predictably spouted off about how Thursday's third-period performance was unacceptable, and tonight's game is their chance to walk the walk and prove they can be better against a superior team in the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Flames won both games at home against the 'Hawks last season, outscoring their Western conference rivals 8-3 in the process, but unless the Flames get their defensive act together in a hurry, they'll be hard pressed to repeat those performances and things could get ugly real quick.
It may work to the home team's ever so slight advantage that Corey Crawford is riding the pine tonight--the Hawks' goalie has been on fire in seven starts so far this season--but the Flames won't be seeing their former back-up Henrik Karlsson in net. Ray Emery, who hasn't fared too badly against the Flames himself in his career (4-2-0, .939SV%), will get the call tonight. Emery is 1-0 so far this season in a game where he allowed four goals and his team still managed to win, which is unheard of in these parts.
On the Flames side of things, Derek Smith is back in the lineup tonight in place of Cory Sarich as Bob Hartley continues to juggle his defensive pairings in the desperate hope that they'll all simultaneously figure out how to do their jobs and the struggling Mike Cammalleri gets promoted to the first line.
Here are your projected lines and pairings:
Scratches: Sarich, Begin.
Go Flames Go.