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Calgary Flames @ St. Louis Blues Game Preview: The Home Stretch

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It's down to the last five games of the season, and the Flames are still fighting for a playoff spot. Tonight's result could very well make or break Calgary's playoff hopes. Good thing the boys are rested.

tough guys, are ya?
tough guys, are ya?
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The hockey gods seem to abandon the Calgary Flames when they play the St. Louis Blues this season. So far, in two games, the Blues have outscored the Flames 8-1, including a 4-0 shutout win by Brian Elliott on St. Patty's Day. They've also been out-attempted by the Blues in both games. Not that that has stopped the Flames this year.

Case in point, the Flames were able to survive a barrage of Dallas Stars to hold onto a 5-3 win on Monday. In the midst of the chaos, Brett Ritchie butt-ended Sean Monahan in the hair, and face. No penalty, no punishment. Well, at least he was sent down to the AHL? The game also featured an amazing wraparound goal by Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Raphael Diaz, which you should probably check out. | Recap | Stats | Boxscore |

Unfortunately, for St. Louis, they've recently lost their top two scorers to injury. Vladimir Tarasenko has been ruled out for the game tonight, but Alexander Steen is still on the table to slot in. They have also recalled Calgary-born Ty Rattie from the AHL due to the injuries, so he's available to play as well.

Since they manhandled the Flames, the Blues have lost five of the past six games, winning only against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They fell to the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, and most recently, Vancouver Canucks, which has been super unhelpful for Calgary.

For more on the Blues, check out St. Louis Game Time.

Game time: 6:00 PM MT

Channel: SNW

All-time record:The two games this season have not helped the all-time record for the Flames, but they are still 78-73-14-4, with a small lead in goal differential, +3.

Common threads: The illustrious couple known as Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman have both played for the Blues. That's even where Wideman got his NHL start.

And we all remember Olli Jokinen, Jay Bouwmeester, and Chris Butler, right?

Approaching milestones: Karri Ramo still needs seven wins to 50, and Mikael Backlund needs seven games to 300 played, so those won't be happening by the end of the season.

What can happen? Lance Bouma only needs to play four more games to 200. Sean Monahan only needs eight points to 100 in his sophomore season. And there's still a race to 100 goals with David Jones requiring eight, and Dennis Wideman needing nine.

As for what the Flames are looking to avoid, T.J. Oshie needs three assists to 200, Carl Gunnarsson needs two points to 100, and Kevin Shattenkirk needs six points to 200.

Scoreboard watching:

  • Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks: Vancouver is almost out of reach but not yet. Chicago has done Calgary some favours recently and may still be feeling generous.
  • Edmonton Oilers @ Los Angeles Kings: With the Oilers playing the second of a back-to-back, optimism isn't high here, but we can cross our fingers and our toes!
  • In the OHL, the Kingston Frontenacs will be playing game four of the playoff series against the North Bay Battalion. They could be swept if North Bay wins tonight, making Sam Bennett very much available to the AHL or NHL for the rest of the season.

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames St. Louis Blues
Record: 42-28-7: 91 points Record: 46-23-7: 99 points
Pacific Division: 3rd Central Division: 2nd
Western Conference: 7th Western Conference: 3rd
Goal Differential: +25 Goal Differential: +39
Time on ice
Defence: Mark Giordano (25:10 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:35 per game)
Defence: Alex Pietrangelo (25:22 per game)
Forward: Alexander Steen (19:59 per game)
Points
Goals: Sean Monahan & Jiri Hudler (29)
Assists: Jiri Hudler (42)
Points: Jiri Hudler (71)
Goals: Vladimir Tarasenko (36)
Assists: Alexander Steen (38)
Points: Vladimir Tarasenko (71)
Shots
Shots on goal: Sean Monahan (182)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (19.9%)
Shots on goal: Vladimir Tarasenko (260)
Shooting percentage: David Backes (14.3%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (49.5%, 1736 taken) Paul Stastny (58.5%, 1050 taken)
Grit
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (68)
Hits: Lance Bouma (253)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (272)
Penalty minutes: Ryan Reaves (116)
Hits: Ryan Reaves (255)
Blocked shots: Alex Pietrangelo (154)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team's games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (48.44%, 61 GP)
Josh Jooris (47.07%, 56 GP) 
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (49.40%, 56 GP)
Raphael Diaz (48.99%, 55 GP)
Corsi for%: Dmitrij Jaskin (56.95%, 48 GP)
Patrik Berglund (55.56%, 71 GP) 
Fenwick for%: Dmitrij Jaskin (58.42%, 48 GP)
Vladimir Tarasenko (56.23%, 76 GP)


Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund David Jones
Mason Raymond Markus Granlund
Joe Colborne
Brandon Bollig
Matt Stajan Drew Shore
Left Defence Right Defence
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
TJ Brodie Deryk Engelland
David Schlemko Raphael Diaz
Goalies
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

St. Louis Blues
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Jaden Schwartz Paul Stastny T.J. Oshie
Dmitrij Jaskin David Backes Patrik Berglund
Chris Porter Jori Lehtera Olli Jokinen
Steve Ott Marcel Goc Ryan Reaves
Left Defence Right Defence
Jay Bouwmeester Alex Pietrangelo
Zbynek Michalek Kevin Shattenkirk
Barret Jackman Robert Bortuzzo
Goalies
Jake Allen
Brian Elliott

If it aint broke, don't fix it? No word on why Bollig may slot in for Ferland. Just as the Flames were getting used to cycling four solid lines.