Game #41: Lightning at Flames Game Thread

Scott Iskowitz

Following a disappointing end to 2013, the Flames take the ice in 2014 hoping the new year will bring a change of fortunes.

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Tampa Bay Lightning
@ Calgary Flames

Friday, Jan 3, 2014, 7:00 PM MST
Scotiabank Saddledome

The Opposition: Raw Charge

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: The Fan 960

Complete Coverage >


Tonight marks the last game of a five game homestand that has seen the Flames go 1-3-0. While it got off to a good start, following Christmas the Flames have run into scoring woes. They have scored just one goal in the past three games.

Hopefully, by turning the calendar to a new year, the Flames themselves will turn the corner and start putting up some wins again - or at least pot more goals.

One thing that's going to help is the return of Dennis Wideman. Wideman has been activated off the injury reserve since breaking his hand in the November 27 game against Chicago. The return of a top four defenceman can't be understated, especially for a team so thin on defence. Chris Breen has been sent back to Abbotsford as a result, as the tall defenceman went through waivers unclaimed (he's only played 43:10 through five games, so that's not surprising).

The flu bug has been making its way around the Flames again as well, leaving Lance Bouma unlikely for tonight. Assuming he's unable to go, it's likely TJ Galiardi takes his spot. This means both Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth will play again - are you excited for some truculence?!

As for the Flames' opponent, the Lightning most recently defeated Vancouver 4-2 on New Year's Day, and are riding a four game road win streak. Steven Stamkos is still injured, and will not play; however, he was participating in practices on Saddledome ice (albeit in a no contact jersey), which is great news if you're Canadian.

Valterri Filppula is one of the opponents to watch for tonight. The former Red Wing, now Bolt has five goals and 12 points in his last eight games, so he's coming in hot. The Lightning have also been thriving on the powerplay as of late, connecting with the man advantage in five of the last six games, so the Flames will probably want to stay out of the box tonight.

Here are the projected lines:

Flames:

Cammalleri - Monahan - Jones

Stempniak - Backlund - Hudler

Byron - Stajan - McGrattan

Westgarth - Colborne - Galiardi

Giordano - Brodie

Smid - Wideman

Butler - O'Brien

Ramo

Lightning:

Palat - Johnson - St. Louis

Killorn - Filppula - Purcell

Brown - Thompson - Kucherov

Malone - Panik

Hedman - Sustr

Carle - Gudas

Salo - Brewer

Barberio

Bishop

Go Flames!

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