After allowing 17 goals in their past three games, two of which were losses, the Flames will attempt to get Movember off to a good start tonight at the 'Dome against the Wings (7:30MT TSN),. Detroit took the first of four games between the two clubs back on October 21st, emerging as 4-2 victors after the Flames held 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the game.
After being off since Saturday night's nightmarish 7-2 loss to the Caps, the Flames should have had some time to work on the issues that seem to have dogged them relentlessly since the third period of that October 26th shootout win over the Oilers. After a total of 34 giveaways in their last three games, Brent Sutter and his coaching staff are no doubt expecting their squad to be tougher on the puck tonight, which will not be an easy task against the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Another key to success for the home side tonight will be their penalty kill, which seems to have hit a bump in the road--allowing 5PPG in the last three contests--after such a good start. Not coincidentally, staying out of the box is something this team has also struggled with in recent outings and will need to improve upon tonight against a Detroit squad that is always dangerous with the extra man.
David Moss hopes to provide a spark for the Flames tonight with his return to the lineup after spending the first month of the season on IR with a shoulder injury, and will skate on a line with Rene Bourque and Mikael Backlund to start tonight's game, forcing Stefan Meyer to sit this one out and shuffling Curtis Glencross down to the fourth line. After missing practice earlier this week in order to get some dental repairs resulting from a high stick to the mouth done, Alex Tanguay will be in the lineup tonight, occupying his usual position on the first line.
Lines and Pairings:
Jimmy Howard will counter in net for the Wings with Chris Osgood on the shelf with a groin injury.
Cory Sarich will be looking to redeem himself after his own-goal on Saturday quickly became a YouTube sensation, and the whole team will no doubt want to prove that they're better than what we saw on three days ago; the only way to do so, however, will be to put forth a full hour's effort, free of any extended lapses.
If Flames fans have learnt anything in recent years, it's that we never know when we can expect just that-- and hopefully tonight, in the last game of a homestand and against a very tough opponent, is one of those occasions.
Enjoy the game everyone and let's hope Gio doesn't get burned by Sparklepants again. Go Flames Go.