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Game One Preview: Canucks Visit Calgary

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One of four games on the NHL's slate for opening night, the Flames hope to start on a good note against the "also missed the playoffs" Vancouver Canucks.

Rich Lam

The Canucks visit the Flames tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta at 8:00 PM MT. This is the first of four contests between the two teams this season. They'll face each other twice in Vancouver, on December 20th and on January 10th, and again on Valentine's Day in Calgary. It's the season opener for both teams.

The last time the Flames and Canucks faced off was on April 13th, in the last regular season game for both squads. Vancouver took the match, 5-1, powered by the Sedin twins. Daniel had two goals, Henrik assisted on both. Jacob Markstrom stopped 21-of-22 shots for the win, closing the season at 2-8-3. The Flames marker was scored by none other than future Calder hopeful Johnny Gaudreau, with assists by Christopher Breen and Joe Colborne. Karri Ramo allowed the first four goals, turning aside 16 shots in 34 minutes before giving way to Joey MacDonald. For a little extra drama going into tonight's match, Paul Byron ended Daniel Sedin's season a few shifts earlier by hitting him from behind. The goal scoring twin was taken off the ice on a stretcher. * Full Recap * Box Score

After the game, Gaudreau, who was playing in his first game, spoke to the media:

It was good experience to have before next season before I come back to training camp. During the warm-ups I looked down at the other end. They were a lot bigger guys than I expected. That was a little shocking. It was a little bit faster than I expected. I was a little nervous.

For more on the Canucks, check out Nucks Misconduct.

GameTime: 8PM MT

Where2Watch: SN, TVA Sports 2

Tonight's Line: Flames have a line of -305, which means they're the most heavily favoured team on opening night.

Elsewhere

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs, 5:00 PM

Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins, 5:30 PM

San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings, 8:00 PM

Common Thread

New addition to the Flames Mason Raymond (LW) played six seasons with the Canucks, scoring 80 times with 98 assists in 374 games, with a plus-17 rating and 118 penalty minutes.

Flames Milestones

In no particular order, Jonas Hiller, Mason Raymond, Brandon Bollig, and Deryk Engelland will become the 531st, 532nd, 533rd, and 534th players to take the ice in franchise history.

Mark Giordano will move into a tie for ninth place by taking part in his ninth season with the team. He will also tie Hakan Loob for 20th by appearing in his 450th contest. He needs three assists to tie Ken Houston in 29th position with his 145th assist. His next minor penalty will give him 431 for his career, seeing him pass Charlie Bourgeois and giving him sole possession of 29th place.

With two goals, Curtis Glencross will tie German Titov in 24th place with his 107th marker. He is currently in a tie with Rey Comeau for 34th place, with 214 points.

Probable Starting Lineups

Calgary Flames

Forwards

Curtis Glencross - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Mason Raymond - Mikael Backlund - Lance Bouma

Johnny Gaudreau - Joe Colborne - Paul Byron

Brandon Bollig - Matt Stajan - Brian McGrattan

Defensemen

TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano

Kris Russell - Deryk Engelland

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller gets the nod for opening night. When facing off against Vancouver, Hiller has posted a 11-5-3 record, with a .903 save percentage and a 3.01 goals against average. Karri Ramo will play tomorrow night, against the Edmonton Oilers. He has a 1-1-0, .928, 2.53 record against them.

Vancouver Canucks

Forwards

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata

Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Alexandre Burrows

Brad Richardson - Linden Vey - Zach Kassian

Derek Dorsett - Shawn Matthias - Jannik Hansen

Defensemen

Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev

Dan Hamhuis - Luca Sbisa

Yannick Weber - Ryan Stanton

Goaltender

The Canucks have Ryan Miller and Eddie Lack between the pipes. It remains to be seen who gets the starting nod.

Injury Report

Flames: Sam Bennett is out indefinitely with a previously undiagnosed shoulder ailment, while defenseman Corey Potter is out with an upper body injury.

Canucks: The Canucks have a lot of guys on the IR, including defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Frank Corrado (upper body), center Bo Horvat (shoulder), left winger Tom Sestito (Neck) and defenseman Andrew Alberts with a concussion.

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