The Flames (28-21-8) have won six of eight since their last visit to Vancouver, a shootout victory back on January 22nd, but they'll be in tough tonight against the Canucks (35-11-9), coming off an overtime loss against the Ducks last night. With the Wild winning last night and the Kings collecting the two points earlier today, the pressure is on the Flames to bounce back tonight against a divisional rival.
The Canucks have run into some injury trouble on the blueline recently, currently missing Alex Edler (back), Keith Ballard (knee), and Dan Hamhuis (concussion), but Sami Salo makes his return to the lineup tonight in what will be his first game since tearing his Achilles tendon in the off-season. Ever dangerous with the man advantage, the Flames will need to stay out of the box if they hope to avoid Salo's booming point shot. They only took one penalty last night and it cost them, as Teemu Selanne scored the game-tying goal in the dying minutes. The Canucks are equally dangerous on the powerplay, and finding a way to neutralize that will be crucial to any success the Flames hope to have in this game.
While Vancouver's depleted back end might give the Flames more of a chance than they normally would have in this one, they'll still have to get past the last line of defence: Roberto Luongo. Luongo is undefeated in his last five starts, allowing just seven goals in those games. Those are some impressive numbers, and Miikka Kiprusoff will have to bounce back from a so-so game last night if he hopes to compete at the other end.
Enjoy the game everyone and let the curses flow freely in the comments. Go Flames.