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M&G GameTime Preview: Flames visit Toronto

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The Flames try to bounce back from a home loss to the San Jose Sharks.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 5:30 PM, the Flames (17-9-2) and the Maple Leafs (14-9-3) will face off at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The two will face off one more time this season, back in the Saddledome on March 13th. The Flames just finished off a three game homestand 2-1-0, and with tonight's game begin a four game roadtrip. They'll continue on to play the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night, and the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Toronto will be playing the final game of a five-game homestand and their 10th home game out of their last 12 contests. They started their current homestand with a 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals on November 29th, then defeated the Dallas Stars 5-3 last Tuesday, lost to the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Thursday, and beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Saturday.

The last time the Flames faced off with the Maple Leafs was April 1st last season in Toronto. Jay McClement (4), Dave Bolland (8), and David Clarkson (5) scored for the Leafs, while Matt Stajan (13) and Kris Russell (6) tallied markers for Calgary. Jonathan Bernier turned aside 22-of-24 shots for Toronto's victory, while Karri Ramo countered with 19 saves in 22 chances. Dion Phaneuf earned 24 penalty minutes in the contest. * Box Score * Full Recap

C

I don't know where we would be without T.J. Brodie. He's been so good for us since the start of the year. I can't even call this a bad night, I would call this a night full of bad luck for T.J. He's a worker and he was involved in every play -- it didn't work out for him tonight. - Flames coach Bob Hartley, on Brodie's continued excellence.

Pension Plan Puppets has more on the Leafs.

In Calgary's last game, the San Jose Sharks broke the Flames four game winning streak by taking a 3-2 victory at the Saddledome. Mark Giordano (7) and John Gaudreau (5) scored for the Flames, and Karri Ramo made 27 stops in the loss. Antti Niemi made 33 saves for the Sharks, who saw goals from Justin Braun (1), Logan Couture (11), and Patrick Marleau (7). Couture and Braun added an assist each, and Tommy Wingels had two helpers. * Box Score * Full Recap

I felt that we played a real good game, but on their goals, we made some major mistakes, and they're a team that they're so talented that they were very opportunistic and they got the game from us. Only the final result matters. - Hartley

SB Nations' dedicated Sharks blog is Fear The Fin.

Toronto is coming off a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Jake Gardiner (2), Richard Panik (5), Peter Holland (6), Joffrey Lupul (6), and David Clarkson (8) scored for the Leafs, While Daniel Sedin (7) and Chris Tanev (1) lit the lamp for Vancouver. Jonathan Bernier made 44 saves for a well earned win, while Ryan Miller allowed four goals on 14 shots for the loss. Eddie Lack made 13 saves in 34 perfect minutes of relief for Vancouver. * Box Score * Full Recap

It's a step forward for us. Obviously our home stand has been successful. We just have to keep working and continue to build momentum. - Bernier

For more Vancouver news, head over to Nucks Misconduct.

GameTime: 5:30PM

Where2Watch: SNW, TSN4

All-Time Record: The Flames are 59-54-13 all-time against the Leafs.

Current Standings

Calgary Flames: 17-9-2, .643, 36 points, on pace for 105 points. Third in the Pacific Division, sixth in the Western Conference, 10th in the NHL. Last Five: W-W-W-W-L. Playoff Odds: 88.8%

Toronto Maple Leafs: 14-9-3, .596, 31 points, on pace for 98 points. Fourth in the Atlantic Division, sixth in the Eastern Conference, 13th in the NHL. Last Five: O-W-W-L-W. Playoff Odds: 79.4%

Common Thread

Mason Raymond spent his first six seasons with the Vancouver Canucks before spending last season with Toronto. He played all 82 games and totaled 19 goals and 26 assists.

Joe Colborne had a goal and five helpers in 16 games over three season with Toronto.

Matt Stajan played seven seasons for Toronto before joining Calgary via trade. The Flames also got Niklas Hagman, while Toronto got Dion Phaneuf. In 445 games for the Leafs, Stajan scored 87 goals and 136 assists.

Phaneuf played 378 games for the Flames from 2005 until January 2010, and scored 75 goals with 153 helpers.

Birthdays

Original Atlanta Flame defenceman Noel Price (199 games, five goals, 40 assists) turns 79 years old today.

Milestones

Curtis Glencross will play his 394th Calgary contest, moving him past Cory Stillman into 29th all-time.

Mark Giordano's next goal will be his 63rd, moving him past Jamie Macoun into 49th all-time.

Jiri Hudler needs four more assists for 200 career helpers. With three assists, Glencross will tie Rey Comeau in 37th on Calgary's all-time list. Giordano will tie Daymond Langkow in 25th with two more assists, at 165.

Giordano will tie Phaneuf and German Titov with 228 points by totaling three.

Probable Starting Lineups

Calgary Flames

Line 1

Curtis Glencross

Sean Monahan

David Jones

Line 2

Johnny Gaudreau

Josh Jooris

Jiri Hudler

Line 3

Mason Raymond

Markus Granlund

Paul Byron

Line 4

Brandon Bollig

Matt Stajan

Lance Bouma

Defensive Pair 1

Mark Giordano

TJ Brodie

Defensive Pair 2

Kris Russell

Dennis Wideman

Defensive Pair 3

Ladislav Smid

Deryk Engelland

Starting Goalie

Jonas Hiller

Reserve Goalie

Karri Ramo

With the return of Mason Raymond to the lineup, Michael Ferland takes a seat. Hiller has already earned the starting nod.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Line 1

James van Riemsdyk

Tyler Bozak

Phil Kessel

Line 2

Joffrey Lupul

Nazem Kadri

Mike Santorelli

Line 3

Daniel Winnik

Peter Holland

David Clarkson

Line 4

David Booth

Trevor Smith

Richard Panik

Defensive Pair 1

Dion Phaneuf

Cody Franson

Defensive Pair 2

Jake Gardiner

Korbinian Holzer

Defensive Pair 3

Morgan Rielly

Stephane Robidas

Starting Goalie

Jonathan Bernier

Reserve Goalie

James Reimer

The Leafs starting netminder has not yet been named as of the time I wrote this preview.

Join us for the Game Thread, tonight at 5PM.