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Game Eight Preview: Flames host Lightning

Calgary opens up a five game homestand tonight against the raw charge of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Can newly contracted defenseman TJ Brodie shut down Stamkos and Co?

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

This evening at 7PM, the Flames open their first homestand of the year at the Scotiabank Saddledome. They’ll face the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first of two contests this season, with the rematch in Florida on November 6th. After closing up a six-game road trip with eight points, they’re starting a five-game stretch of home cooking. After tonight, they’ll host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, the Washington Capitals on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens next Tuesday, and the Nashville Predators on Halloween. The Bolts will be playing in the middle game of a five-game road trip. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Saturday and lost to the Edmonton Oilers last night, 3-2. They’ll go on to play the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night and the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

The last time the Flames faced off against the Lightning was on April 3rd last season. Curtis Glencross lit the lamp twice, Mike Cammalleri tallied a goal and an assist, and Karri Ramo turned aside 31-of-32 shots for the 4-1 victory in Tampa Bay. Kevin Westgarth also scored for the Flames. Ondrej Palat scored the only marker for the Bolts, as behemoth Ben Bishop was victimized for three goals on 24 shots (Glencross’ second goal was an empty netter). * Box Score * Full Recap

Ramo, going up against the team that drafted him, spoke later:

"I felt pretty normal going into the game. I thought it might be a little different but things have changed so much that I didn't even notice the rink anymore. It was a normal game.

You can read more about the Lightning at Raw Charge.

Calgary defeated the Winnipeg Jets in the final game of their six-game roadtrip this past Sunday night. Mason Raymond earned the first star by scoring a goal and two assists, while Johnny Gaudreau and Dennis Wideman each had one goal and one helper. TJ Brodie also scored a goal to extend his point streak to six games, tops in the NHL this season. Jonas Hiller made 34-of-35 shots for the win. Mark Scheifele scored the lone goal for the Jets, as Ondrej Pavelec allowed all four goals on 29 shots. * Box Score * Full Recap

Raymond spoke later:

They came at us really hard. We regrouped and had a really good second period. I thought we really played with a lot more confidence under our feet. I think for us it was just pushing back and playing more of our style of hockey. We sat on our heels a lot and received the game in that first period.

Read Arctic Ice Hockey for more on the Jets.

GameTime: 7PM MT

Where2Watch: SUN, SNF

All-Time Record: Calgary owns a 13-11-4 regular season record against the Lightning, along with an unfortunate 3-4 postseason record.

Current Record

Calgary Flames: 4-3-0, eight points, on pace for 94 points. Fifth in the Pacific Division, eighth in the Western Conference, 17th in the NHL. Last Five: L-W-W-L-W. Playoff Odds: 59.4%

Tampa Bay Lightning: 3-2-1, seven points, on pace for 96 points. Fourth in the Atlantic Division, ninth in the Eastern Conference, 16th in the NHL. Last Five: O-W-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 67.5%

Common Thread

Karri Ramo spent his first three NHL seasons with the Lightning. In 44 contests, racking up an 11-21-10 record with a 3.35 goals against average and an .895 save percentage. He signed on with Omsk in the KHL during the 2009 offseason, had his rights traded to Montreal the following offseason, and was subsequently traded to the Flames with Mike Cammalleri and a fifth round pick (Ryan Culkin) for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland, and a second round pick (Zachary Fucale). With the Flames, he raised his save percentage by 17 points to .912 and lowered his goals against average by over a half marker per game, to 2.63.

Elsewhere

Calgary vs. Tampa Bay is the final game of a crowded plate for the NHL tonight. 18 other teams take the ice in nine games:

San Jose Sharks vs. Boston Bruins
New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Islanders
Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Winnipeg Jets
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Vancouver Canucks vs. Dallas Stars
Florida Panthers vs. Colorado Avalanche

Probable Starting Lineups

Calgary Flames

Line 1

Jiri Hudler

Mikael Backlund

Paul Byron

Line 2

Curtis Glencross

Joe Colborne

Josh Jooris

Line 3

Mason Raymond

Sean Monahan

Johnny Gaudreau

Line 4

Brandon Bollig

Matt Stajan

Lance Bouma

Defensive Pair 1

TJ Brodie

Mark Giordano

Defensive Pair 2

Kris Russell

Dennis Wideman

Defensive Pair 3

Ladislav Smid

Deryk Engelland

Starting Goalie

Karri Ramo

Reserve Goalie

Jonas Hiller

Tampa Bay Lightning

Line 1

Ondrej Palat

Steven Stamkos

Ryan Callahan

Line 2

Jonathan Drouin

Valtteri Filppula

Tyler Johnson

Line 3

Nikita Kucherov

Vladislav Namestnikov

TJ Brown

Line 4

Brenden Morrow

Brian Boyle

Brett Connolly

Defensive Pair 1

Anton Stralman

Matt Carle

Defensive Pair 2

Jason Garrison

Andrej Sustr

Defensive Pair 3

Eric Brewer

Mark Barberio

Starting Goalie

Ben Bishop

Reserve Goalie

Evgeni Nabokov

Flames Leaders

Time on ice: Defensemen, TJ Brodie - 25:10, Mark Giordano - 24:44
Forwards, Mikael Backlund - 18:37, Curtis Glencross - 17:43, Mason Raymond - 17:01

Goals: Mason Raymond - 5, TJ Brodie - 3, Dennis Wideman, Jiri Hudler - 2

Assists: Joe Colborne - 6, Mark Giordano - 5, TJ Brodie - 4

Points: TJ Brodie, Mason Raymond - 7, Joe Colborne, Mark Giordano - 6

Penalty Minutes: Deryk Engelland - 13, Ladislav Smid - 11, Matt Stajan - 8

Shots-on-Goal: Mason Raymond - 20, Sean Monahan - 19, TJ Brodie - 16

Faceoffs: Sean Monahan (65-of-123) - 52.8%, Mikael Backlund (83-of-165) - 50.3%, Joe Colborne (49-of-103) - 47.6%

Hits: Curtis Glencross - 21, Brandon Bollig - 18, Lance Bouma - 15

Blocked Shots: Kris Russell - 24, Mark Giordano - 14, TJ Brodie - 13