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M&G GameTime Preview: Calgary Hosts Coyotes

The Desert Dogs try to keep the Flames from clinching the season series tonight.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7PM, the Flames will host the Arizona Coyotes in the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. This will be the third of five matchups this season between the two clubs. The Flames won the first, 5-3 on November 13th and earned a shutout in the second, 3-0 on Saturday night. They'll face off again on January 15th in Arizona and on April 7th, back in Calgary. The Flames just completed a three game roadtrip 2-1-0, and this game will be the first in a three game homestand. They'll go on to host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. The Coyotes will be finishing up a quick road back-to-back. They beat the Edmonton Oilers last night by a final score of 5-2. After tonight's game, they'll go back to Phoenix for a five-game homestand.

The last meeting between the Flames and the Coyotes was also Calgary's last match. The teams matched zeroes in the first period before TJ Brodie scored his sixth goal of the campaign in the second. The third period would see Johnny Gaudreau (4) and Jiri Hudler (11) put some distance between the teams, as Karri Ramo stopped all 26 Arizona shots for his second consecutive shutout in a 3-0 victory. Devan Dubnyk took the loss, even though he also stopped 26 shots. Hudler earned assists on the two goals that he didn't score, and has a point on each of Calgary's last six markers overall. * Box Score * Full Recap

Karri is seeing the puck really well and reading plays unbelievably, and our team play was really good tonight. I thought the last two were two of our better games all year defensively. We're blocking a ton of shots but also clearing out rebounds and skating. We're playing more in the offensive zone than our zone, which is a huge plus. - Giordano

Five For Howling is your source for Arizona's only NHL team.

Last night, the Coyotes defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 5-2. Tobias Rieder scored twice in 58 seconds down a man (an NHL rookie record), Mikkel Boedker had a goal and an assist, and Martin Erat and Oliver Ekman-Larsson also lit the lamp for Arizona. Mike Smith earned the win by stopping 25 of the 27 shots that he faced. Victor Fasth took the loss, turning aside 19-of-24 shot attempts. Jeff Petry and Jordan Eberle collected the markers for the Oilers. * Full Recap

I obviously wasn't expecting anything like that. It is just amazing that we scored two shorthanded goals. That was really exciting, I'm not sure if I really realize what happened yet. It's pretty hard to even score goals on the power play in this league, let alone to get two shorthanded that quickly. - Rieder

For more on the horrible, disgusting, putrid Oilers, go to Copper and Blue.

Current Record

Calgary Flames: 15-8-2, .640, 32 points, on pace for 105 points. Third in the Pacific Division, sixth in the Western Conference, 11th in the NHL. Last Five: L-W-L-W-W. Playoff Odds: 89.0%

Arizona Coyotes: 10-12-3, .460, on pace for 75 points. Sixth in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference, 24th in the NHL. Last Five: W-L-O-L-W. Playoff Odds: 6.4%

GameTime: 7PM MT

Where2Watch: FS-A PLUS, SNW

All-Time Record: Calgary has an 84-69-26 edge in head-to-head play against the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes all-time.

Common Thread

Number 86 all-time Flame Dave Moss played with the Flames for parts of six seasons, totaling 61 goals, 63 assists, and 94 penalty minutes in 317 games.

Birthdays

No current or former Flames have a birthday today, but three present players do. Tomas Tatar (Detroit Red Wings) turns 24, Michael Raffi (Philadelphia Flyers) turns 26, and Ryan Malone (New York Rangers) turns 35.

Milestones

Paul Byron will be playing in his 99th game tonight for the Flames. TJ Brodie just moved into the top 100 in games played, and will take sole possession of 99th all-time with his 211th contest tonight.

Mark Giordano will move into a tie for 49th all-time with Jamie Macoun with his next goal, his 62nd. He has 161 assists, tied with Carey Wilson in 26th all-time. Curtis Glencross is currently tied for 22nd all-time on Calgary's leaderboard with 109 goals, with Cory Stillman and Paul Reinhart. He also has 119 assists, tied with Dan Quinn in 40th. Jiri Hudler needs seven more assists to have 200 for his NHL career.

Elsewhere

Ottawa Senators vs. New York Islanders, 5PM
New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 5PM
Vancouver Canucks vs. Washington Capitals, 5PM
Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 5PM
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres, 5:30PM
Dallas Stars vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 5:30PM
Florida Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings, 5:30PM
Philadelphia Flyers vs. San Jose Sharks, 8PM
Boston Bruins vs. Los Angeles Kings, 8:30PM

Probable Starting Lineups

Calgary Flames

Line 1

Curtis Glencross

Sean Monahan

David Jones

Line 2

Johnny Gaudreau

Josh Jooris

Jiri Hudler

Line 3

Michael Ferland

Markus Granlund

Paul Byron

Line 4

Brandon Bollig

Lance Bouma

Sven Baertschi

Defensive Pair 1

Mark Giordano

TJ Brodie

Defensive Pair 2

Kris Russell

Dennis Wideman

Defensive Pair 3

Raphael Diaz

Deryk Engelland

Starting Goalie

Karri Ramo

Reserve Goalie

Jonas Hiller

Ramo was confirmed as the starter at 3PM yesterday afternoon. The rest of this bunch may change with the morning skate.

Arizona Coyotes

Line 1

Lauri Korpikoski

Antoine Vermette

Mikkel Boedker

Line 2

Tobias Rieder

Martin Hanzal

Shane Doan

Line 3

Brendan Shinnimin

Sam Gagner

Martin Erat

Line 4

Brandon McMillan

Joe Vitale

BJ Crombeen

Defensive Pair 1

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Zbynek Michalek

Defensive Pair 2

Keith Yandle

Michael Stone

Defensive Pair 3

David Schlemko

Connor Murphy

Starting Goalie

Mike Smith

Reserve Goalie

Devan Dubnyk

Unlike Calgary's coaching staff, Arizona's did not confirm a starter for tonight's game yesterday (when I'm writing this). I expect Mike Smith to get the start, and so should you.

Check back here, just before the puck drops for our live game thread. Make sure you keep an M&G tab open afterward to, and catch our unparalleled game recap later.