After the hoopla of Heritage Weekend, it's back to the grind for the Flames (31-22-8) as they hit the ice for the third of a five-game homestand tonight against another Original Six team in the Boston Bruins (33-19-7). The story for the Bruins this season really has been goaltending. Former ninth round draft pick Tim Thomas has allowed just 83 goals in 42 games played this season and has an ES SV% of .947. That's pretty remarkable for a 36-year old 'tender who struggled by comparison last season. What's more, Thomas has a .941 SV% on the road this season. This is not going to be an easy one for the home side.
Thomas isn't the only threat to the Flames' winning ways, however, as Boston now possesses the league's fourth best offence after finishing dead last in goals for last season despite going without centre Marc Savard for the majority of the season. The Flames' recent streak that has seen them score at a pace of nearly five goals per game has sent them sky-rocketing to seventh overall with 178 goals in 61 games, but the aforementioned Tim Thomas, operating behind a new-and-improved Bruins defence, will surely be keen to put a stop to that. New addition Rich Peverley will make his Boston debut tonight after being acquired by the Bruins last Friday, and will likely be playing on a line with Michael Ryder and Chris Kelly, as per Stanley Cup of Chowder.
On the Flames' side of things, no lineup changes are expected for tonight's game. After clearing waivers this morning, Niklas Hagman will appear in his regular position on the fourth line, alongside Mikael Backlund and Tom Kostopoulos.
Lines and Pairings:
Kiprusoff stole the show at the Heritage Classic and he will have to be on his game again tonight in what will be his 14th consecutive start if he hopes to out-duel Thomas. Of course, he'll need some help from his offence, who were shutout 5-0 in their last meeting with the Bruins back in March of 2010 (a.k.a my first ever blogger meet-up).
Enjoy the game everyone and hope Tomas Kaberle has brought the Leafs' losing ways stateside in the comments. Go Flames.