A minute-long collapse resulting in three Dallas Stars goals sealed the Flames' fate as they lost 5-1. Following a less than stellar 1-4 road trip the Flames return to the Saddledome where they have a 2-0-1 record, hoping playing on home ice will yield a better fate.
Sven Baertschi, a healthy scratch last game, draws back into the lineup tonight. He'll be replacing Lee Stempniak, as the right winger will miss tonight's contest with a lower body injury. David Jones will take over Stempniak's spot with Curtis Glencross and Matt Stajan, while Baertschi looks to reunite with Sean Monahan, who is under a point per game for the first time this season after being held pointless by the Stars.
If the loss of Stempniak wasn't big enough, things are about to get much worse: Captain Mark Giordano has been placed on IR retroactive to October 21. This means that he may be able to dress for Wednesday's game against the Maple Leafs, but the Flames shouldn't bank on it. Giordano will be missing his third straight game with a lower body injury. The continuing loss of Giordano is a difficult blow to the Flames' already shallow defence corps, which will probably rely once again on Dennis Wideman to pick up extra minutes.
Furthermore, Derek Smith has been recalled from Abbotsford. Smith has only played one game for the Heat this year, but has played in roughly half the Flames' games over the past two seasons. He's a game time decision for tonight. If he draws in he'll be taking over for rookie Chris Breen, who had a fight and played a little over 12 minutes against the Stars in his second NHL game.
The Washington Capitals (5-5-0), meanwhile, are looking to continue a successful road trip that has seen them come away with victories over the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers. The Flames opened their season in Washington's rink with a very entertaining game that saw them lose 5-4 in a shootout. They were a victim of the Capitals' strong powerplay, which is currently second in the league at 29.7%, so the Flames will have to be careful when it comes to taking penalties tonight. Alex Ovechkin currently leads the Caps with 10 goals and 15 points in 10 games.
The projected lineups are as follows:
Glencross - Stajan - Jones
Cammalleri - Backlund - Galiardi
Baertschi - Monahan - Hudler
Bouma - Colborne - Jackman
Butler - Brodie
Russell - Wideman
Breen - O'Brien
Johansson - Backstrom - Ovechkin
Erat - Laich - Brouwer
Chimera - Grabovski - Ward
Volpatti - Fehr - Wilson
Alzner - Carlson
Schmidt - Green
Erskine - Oleksy
Let's go Flames!