After a game in which the Flames allowed only one goal in regulation for just the second time this season, Karri Ramo will get the start again tonight as his team takes on the Phoenix Coyotes on Canadian Forces Appreciation Night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
In a surprisingly low-event game considering there were so many penalties, Ramo made 21 of 22 saves as the Flames were able to limit the Kings' top forwards to just four shots on goal and win the majority of their faceoff draws.
They will look to do the same against the Coyotes tonight, a team that averages 31.6 shots on net per game, but also allows 34.5.
The desert dogs beat the Oilers 6-2 last night in Edmonton, and while one would think that might be beneficial for the Flames, they have struggled this season facing teams that played at Rexall the previous night, allowing many visitors to make it out of Alberta unscathed.
The Flames' chances of stopping the Coyotes from escaping the prairies with a perfect record would certainly be improved if they get Mark Giordano back tonight, which it sounds like they will--the captain has missed 18 games with a broken ankle but has been skating in full-contact practices and told the Flames' web team that his ankle "feels great." Giordano will add a much-needed boost to the Flames' blueline, but the Flames are still without TJ Galiardi (back), Dennis Wideman (broken hand), Curtis Glencross (knee) and Sean Monahan (broken foot). I haven't looked at the data without Giordano in the lineup compared to the data with him in the lineup, but I would imagine that his absence combined with everyone else on the back end essentially having to move up a spot had a non-trivial effect on both the team's underlying numbers and those of specific players.
Sven Baertschi will return to the lineup tonight after he was scratched in Saturday's game, with Max Reinhart taking his place in the press box this evening. Reinhart played just 2:36 in that game, while Paul Byron played just 5:39, including over 1:00 on the powerplay, and got an assist, which seems to have vaulted him into Hartley's good books.
Here are the projected lines and pairings for tonight's game: