Tonight at 9:30, the Flames will host the Ottawa Senators at the Saddledome in Calgary. It's the first meeting this season between the two, with the rematch happening in Ottawa on March 30th. The Flames just split a two game road trip, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Saturday and losing to the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Monday. Tonight opens up a two game homestand. They'll welcome the New York Islanders on Friday. The Senators will be playing in the third game of a four game roadtrip. They started out by defeating the Vancouver Canucks in the Heritage Classic on Sunday, 4-2 and defeating the Oilers 3-2 last night. They'll go on to visit the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
The last time Calgary and Ottawa faced off was December 30th, 2011 (not a typo). The Flames used goals by Rene Bourque (12), Curtis Glencross (PP, 15) and Chris Butler (1) to jump out to a 3-0 lead at the first intermission. The Sens managed to match them through the next two periods with markers by Nick Foligno (11), Zach Smith (11) and Erik Karlsson (5), sending the action into the fourth period. After Bourque was called for holding, Daniel Alfredsson (11) sealed Calgary's fate with a power play goal to ice the match, 4-3. It was his 400th career goal. Leland Irving made 45 saves in the Flames loss, while Craig Anderson and Alex Auld combined to stop 29-of-32 shots for the win. * Full Recap * Box Score
Flames @ Senators 12/30/11 (via NHL)
Irving bemoaned the "little things" after the game:
It's just all the little things that help bottle up a team. We were still too loose tonight and allowing them to skate too much. There were times in the game where I thought we were in control, but obviously in the end they took it to us.
Silver Seven has more on the Senators.
Calgary was unable to keep up with the Minnesota Wild in their last game, a 3-2 road loss. Mike Cammalleri (14) and Mark Giordano (10) provided the fireworks for the Flames, while the Wild were paced by markers from Kyle Brodziak (5), Jared Spurgeon (PP, 2) and Zach (Breezy) Parise (21). Reto Berra allowed all three goals on 27 shots, while counterpart Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves for the victory. * Full Recap * Box Score
Flames @ Wild 03/03/14 (via NHL)
Calgary coach Bob Hartley spoke candidly about Cammalleri, who is rumoured to be the first on the Flames trading block:
You always know he's going to show up to work. It was nice to see that loose puck go right to his stick. Sometimes, the puck doesn't come to you at the right time, but tonight the timing was great.
Head on over to Hockey Wilderness for more on Minnesota.
Last night, the Senators dropped a 3-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers. Erik Karlsson (17) and Jason Spezza (16) lit the lamp in the losing effort. Ales Hemsky (8, 9) and Jordan Eberle (20) were the muscle for the Oilers. Ben Scrivens made 34 saves, while Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots. *Full Recap * Box Score
Hemsky talked about the trade deadline afterward:
For Oilers news, follow Copper and Blue.
GameTime: 7:30 PM MT
Season Series: First of two games
All-Time Series: The Flames hold the edge in head to head matchups, 108-88-22.
Flames: 23-31-7, .434, 53 points, on pace for a 71 point season. Sixth in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference, tied for 27th in the NHL. Last five: W-L-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: .01%
Senators: 27-24-11, .524, 65 points, on pace for 86 points. Sixth in the Atlantic Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference, 23rd in the NHL. Last five: W-L-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 14.4%.
Brian McGrattan played his first three NHL seasons with the Senators, appearing in 143 games and scoring twice with eight assists and 287 penalty minutes.
Derek Smith played 11 games over two seasons for the Senators, logging an assist and a minus-1 rating.
Assists: Jiri Hudler - 29, Mark Giordano - 20, Dennis Wideman - 17
Points: Jiri Hudler - 43, Mark Giordano - 30, Mikael Backlund - 29
PIM: Brian McGrattan - 95, Shane O'Brien - 58, Ladislav Smid - 52
Blocked Shots: Chris Butler - 159, Kris Russell - 132, Ladislav Smid - 109
Shots-on-Goal: Lee Stempniak - 144, Mike Cammalleri - 136, Mikael Backlund - 129
Probable Starting Lineup
Cammalleri - Backlund - Jones
Hudler - Monahan - Stempniak
Galiardi - Granlund - Colborne
Bouma - Byron - McGrattan
Giordano - Brodie
Russell - Butler
Smid - Wideman
Joni Ortio (0-1-0) will make his second NHL start.
Colin Greening - Zach Smith - Chris Neal
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Chris Philips - Cody Ceci
Patrick Wiercioch - Eric Gyrba
Goalie is unconfirmed as of the writing of this preview, but Anderson pitched a loss last night. I'd say it's probable that we see Robin Lehner.
Earlier today and yesterday, there were a few big moves across the NHL, notably Martin St. Louis to the Rangers and Roberto Luongo back to the Panthers. The Flames traded Berra to the Avalanche for something, I think it's a draft pick, Ruhee will fill us in with the details next. They also parted ways with Lee Stempniak, who will be joining the Penguins, also for draft picks.
Thanks for reading your M&G preview. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, "like" us on Facebook, and keep us bookmarked for frequent Flames news.