Tonight, the Flames and Canucks both close out their seasons with a matchup in Vancouver. It's the fifth matchup between the two, and Calgary has lost the first four. At least they took it to overtime twice. The Flames dropped a 5-3 match against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday after reeling off four straight wins. Vancouver has lost three in a row, and six of their last seven. They'll miss the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
March 8th was the last time that these two faced off, also in Vancouver. The Canucks earned a 2-1 victory with Eddie Lack in net. Vancouver only needed 14 shots on Joni Ortio to score their two markers, by Darren Archibald (1) and Yannick Weber (3). Lack stopped 21-of-22 in the win. Brian McGrattan (2) lit the lamp for the Flames. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights
McGrattan talked afterward about how sloppy the game was:
It was a muck-and-grind game. A lot of sloppy plays at both ends, the puck was bouncing everywhere. Those are good tests to see what you're made of.
Nucks Misconduct has more on the Canucks.
Calgary's last contest would see the Flames tie the score at three after being down 2-0 and 3-1 before ultimately letting the Winnipeg Jets take a 5-3 decision at the Saddledome. Jiri Hudler (17), Sean Monahan (PP, 22), and Kris Russell (PP, 7) earned markers for the Flames. For the Jets, Michael Frolik (15), Evander Kane (19), Carl Klingberg (1), Paul Postma (1), and Blake Wheeler (EN, 28) scored the Jets' goals. Karri Ramo saved 22-of-26 shots, while Winnipeg counterpart Michael Hutchinson stopped 35-of-38. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights
Flames Captain Mark Giordano spoke about the local fans, who gave the Flames an extended ovation after the final horn:
Our fans have been great to us all year. We sort of knew they would do something like that, and it was pretty nice to stay out there to get that ovation, for sure.
For all of your Jets news, go to Arctic Ice Hockey.
The Canucks lost their last game, 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers. Shawn Matthias (12) and Matt Kassian (14) scored for Vancouver, while five different Oilers lit the lamp for the Copper and Blue. Taylor Hall picked up three assists on the night. Jacob Markstrom stopped 17-of-22 shots, while Ben Scrivens shut the door with 40 saves in 42 tries. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights
Oilers Captain Ryan Smyth, who would retire following the game and 19 NHL seasons, talked about his last game:
I soaked every moment of it in. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of putting on this jersey, and any jersey in the NHL. To see the fan appreciation from the start to the end; they are the best fans in the world. I am thoroughly honored to stand up here and say I enjoyed every moment.
Check out the Copper and Blue for your Oilers fix.
Calgary Flames: 35-39-7, .475, 77 points, on pace for 78 points. Sixth in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference, tied for 26th in the NHL. Last Five: W-W-W-W-L.
Vancouver Canucks: 35-35-11, .500, 81 points, on pace for 82 points. Fifth in the Pacific Division, 12th in the Western Conference, tied for 24th in the NHL. Last Five: L-W-L-L-L.
Game Time: 7PM MT.
Yahoo Pick: Flames have 75% of the popular vote.
All-Time Series: The Flames have racked up a 123-86-45 record in the equivalent of just over three full NHL seasons (254 games) against the Canucks.
Calgary can finish the season ranked either 26th or 27th in the league, depending on how the New York Islanders hold up against the unquestioned #30 team, the Buffalo Sabres. Regardless of how Buffalo and New York do, the Flames, if they win, can send the Canucks to their first sub-.500 record since 1998-99.
Make sure to tune in right here later for the game thread, and the recap following the game. Check back throughout the summer as we count down every Calgary Flame ever to wear the sweater.