After a rare win on home ice last night against the Minnesota Wild, the Flames look to make it two in a row against the very same Phoenix Coyotes that shut them out six days ago.
A win tonight would put the Flames within two points of the Coyotes and put them in a tie with the idle Oilers, who battled back to beat the Coyotes in overtime yesterday afternoon.
But we all know that's probably unlikely given how the Flames have performed in back-to-back games so far this season and the fact that they've only been able to string two wins together once through 16 games. They'll need multi-goal scorer Matt Stajan to keep rolling if they want to put pucks past Phoenix goalie Mike Smith.
Even though the Flames were outshot again last night, an uncharacteristically strong second period, some fortunate bounces, and some good old fashioned dirty work in front of the net helped them bounce back from coughing up a one-goal lead in the first period. They've also been much better on the penalty kill recently, which is probably partially due to their terrible percentages from the beginning of the season evening out and the fact that they were shorthanded just twice in last night's contest.
The Coyotes have also been bitten by the injury bug of late as Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal, and Derek Morris all missed yesterday's game. If the Flames can take advantage of a tired team missing a few key players, they may just be able to milk at least a point out of this thing. The fact that they're wearing their retro unis again tonight should help a little.
Akim Aliu somehow managed to injure himself in his 4:24 of ice time and 10 minutes in the penalty box last night and will not be in the lineup, but the even better news is that Roman Cervenka will be back in. Flames prospects have been horribly unlucky in their stints with the big club this season, but at least common sense seems to have prevailed with regard to who should be playing and who shouldn't.
Lines and pairings:
Go Flames Go.