Tonight at 7PM MST, the Flames will try to play not-so-gracious host to the visiting St. Louis Blues. It marks the second of three contests this season between the two. They first met on November 7th in St. Louis, with the Flames coming up short by a 3-2 score. On December 23rd, Calgary defeated the Blues in a shootout at the Saddledome, 4-3.
Calgary is coming off a quick 1-1 road trip with a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday and a 6-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. Tonight's match is the first of a two game homestand that will conclude on Saturday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town.
St. Louis has already won six in a row, and will be playing in the second game of a three game roadtrip. They started out by defeating the Edmonton Oilers, 5-2 on Tuesday and will finish it up tomorrow night against the Vancouver Canucks.
In the last Blues/Flames tilt, Calgary secured a 4-3 shootout victory on December 23rd. After allowing a power play marker to Kevin Shattenkirk (5) in the first period, the Flames tied it up with a power play goal of their own in the second, by Jiri Hudler (11). The Blues closed the period by scoring twice (Jaden Schwartz (11) and Magnus Paajarvi (3)). Mike Cammalleri (12) scored in the third, then Mark Giordano (5) scored on the power play with five seconds remaining in regulation. After a scoreless overtime frame, Joe Colborne netted the only goal in the shootout. Mikael Backlund pitched in two assists. Reto Berra picked up the win with 32 saves, while Jaroslav Halak made 26 in a losing effort for St. Louis.* Full Recap * Box Score
Blues @ Flames Highlights 12/23/13 (via NHL)
Mark Giordano spoke later about the comeback:
We felt like our last three, four games we played really well and we haven't been getting the results. Against one of the best teams in the league, to come back and win in that way, it leaves a good feeling here and it's going to be a nice Christmas break.
The Flames last game was one to forget. Calgary kept close through the first period, but gave up three each in the second and the third while failing to record a single goal in a 6-0 loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday night. Lauri Korpikoski had a goal and two assists, while Mikkel Boedker, Shane Doan, and Martin Hanzal each had a goal and an assist. Radim Vrbata had two helpers, while Thomas Griess stopped 27 Flames shots for the shutout. Reto Berra gave up all six goals on 30 shots. * Full Recap * Box Score
Flames @ Coyotes Highlights 1/7/14 (via NHL)
Mike Cammalleri spoke later about how this one got away from Calgary:
The first period was a good period. Then we had a couple of bounces and we started to get away from it and get discouraged. But we played a team that's had the success they've had by staying patient and sticking with it. We saw the snowball effect. They did it the right way and we did it the wrong way tonight.
For more on the Coyotes, go to Five For Howling.
Also on Tuesday night, the Blues defeated the Oilers in Edmonton, 5-2. Chris Stewart (PP, 14), Maxim Lapierre (6), David Backes (PP, 17), Vladimir Tarasenko (14), and Patrik Berglund (7) lit the lamp for St. Louis, while Nail Yakupov (9) and Mark Arcobello (4) scored for Edmonton. Brian Elliott made only 16 saves in the win, while Ilya Bryzgalov allowed four goals on 29 shots in the loss. * Full Recap * Box Score
Blues @ Oilers Highlights 1/7/14 (via NHL)
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has some nerve - talking about how it wasn't a good effort from his boys:
We didn't play well [Tuesday]. I think it had to do with a lot of the drama that goes on [Tuesday with the Olympic roster announcements]. It really affected our players. We didn't have the focus that we have had, and we will need to get it back on this road trip. I think the drama with all of the Olympic stuff, you could tell it was draining on people.
Copper and Blue has your Oilers.
GameTime: 9PM MST
TV: FS-MW, SNET-W
Season Series: The Flames stand at 1-1-0 thus far, with a chance at a season series victory tonight.
All-Time Series: Calgary has a .522 winning percentage all-time against St. Louis, going 74-67-14-4.
St. Louis Blues: 30-7-5, .774, 65 points. On pace for 127 points. Second in the Central Division, third in the Western Conference, tied for third in the NHL. Last Five: W-W-W-W-W. Playoff Odds: 99.99%
This day in Flames History
Calgary is 6-5-4 all-time on January 9th.
1974 - Flames 3, Sabres 0
1976 - Flames 1, Blackhawks 1
1978 - Flames 5, Maple Leafs 2
1979 - Flames 5, Sabres 3
1982 - Oilers 7, Flames 2
1985 - Flames 4, Kings 4
1986 - Flames 5, Canucks 4, OT
1990 - Oilers 3, Flames 2, OT
1993 - Penguins 3, Flames 2
1997 - Whalers 3, Flames 2
1998 - Flames 3, Panthers 3
2002 - Devils 5, Flames 1
2003 - Senators 1, Flames 0
2007 - Flames 3, Wild 0
2010 - Flames 3, Canucks 2, OT
Flames defenseman Kris Russell played two seasons with the Blues, scoring five goals and 11 assists in 76 contests.
Calgary RW Lee Stempniak played his first three and a half seasons with the Blues, totaling 57 goals and 73 helpers in 233 games.
Flames blueliner Dennis Wideman played his first season and a half in St. Louis, scoring 13 goals and 33 assists in 122 games.
Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester played parts of four years in Calgary, racking up 18 goals and 79 helpers in 279 matches.
Jordan Leopold played parts of four seasons with the Flames, totaling 14 goals and 55 assists in 233 games.
Goals: Mike Cammalleri - 13, Jiri Hudler, Sean Monahan - 12
Assists: Jiri Hudler - 23, Mark Giordano - 13, Kris Russell - 12
Points: Jiri Hudler - 35, Mike Cammalleri - 21, Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan - 18
Shots on Goal: Mike Cammalleri - 111, Lee Stempniak - 103, Mikael Backlund - 78
Faceoffs: Joe Colborne (197-of-409) - 48.4%, Matt Stajan (294-of-612) - 48.0%, Mikael Backlund (293-of-623) - 47.0%
Blocked Shots: Chris Butler - 111, Kris Russell - 105, TJ Brodie - 73
Probable Starting Lineups
TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano
Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman
Chris Butler - Derek Smith
Karri Ramo - Reto Berra
Brian Elliott - Jake Allen
Thanks for reading your Matchsticks and Gasoline Game Preview today. You always have a home here at M&G. Check back later for the Game Thread. In the meantime, you can take a look at St. Louis Game Time if you're so inclined.
Box Scores and most statistics courtesy of www.hockey-reference.com. Game recaps and other statistics courtesy of NHL.COM. Playoff odds courtesy of www.sportsclubstats.com