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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks 12/23/16 (36/82)

The Flames return home to take on the Vancouver Canucks before the Christmas break.

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images
Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary Alberta
Broadcast Schedule
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames will entertain the Vancouver Canucks on a brief 1 game home stand right before the Christmas break. The Flames are no longer the streaking team they were 2 weeks ago. Calgary comes into this contest having dropped 3 of their last 4 after previously winning 6 in a row. Part of the free fall is that Chad Johnson has come back to Earth, struggling in his last 3 starts. The Flames top goalie is 0-3 and has given up 12 goals over those 3 loses. While the goaltending has hit the skids, the special teams still remain top notch on both the PP and PK. Calgary has killed off 10 straight penalties and believe it or not, the PP’s 0-1 against San Jose was the first time in 8 games where they didn’t score with the man advantage.

Vancouver is looking forward to the month of December ending. The ‘Nucks are 4-6-1 and free falling in the Pacific Division. While the standings say they are only one spot behind the Flames, they are 5 points behind 5th place Calgary and they are entrenched in the bottom 3 of the Western Conference.

This contest is screaming for goals. Both the Flames and Canucks are in the top 10 in goals allowed with the Flames giving up 101 and the Canucks 104. So while goaltending might be an issue tonight, it’s always an entertaining contest when these two rivals go at it. Vancouver took the only meeting between these two teams so far this season back on October 15th with a 2-1 SO win.

Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks
17-16-2 Record 14-17-3
36 Points 31
5th Pacific Division 6th Pacific
8th West Conference 12th West
2-3-0 Last 5 2-2-1
88 Goals For 82
101 Goals Against 104
Monahan (10) Goals D. Sedin (10)
Gaudreau (22) Points D. Sedin (22)
Johnson (.922) Save % Markstrom (.908)
18.6 (15th) PP % 13.7 (27th)
80.2 (20th) PK % 80.0 (21st)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed) Record GAA Save %
Flames: Johnson (E) 13-7-1 2.30 .922
Canucks: Markstrom (E) 7-7-2 2.63 .908

Calgary Flames 1 San Jose Sharks 4

The Flames rolled into San Jose and got slapped around by the 1st place Sharks Tuesday night to the score of 4-1. Chad Johnson had his 3rd straight tough outing and the Sharks lit the Flames up in the 2nd period, getting all 4 of their goals. Sam Bennett found the back of the net for the Flames, but his only goal of the game barely made a dent in the commanding Sharks lead. Here’s our recap, the highlights and the stats from the contest.

Flames stats vs Sharks 12/20/16
Goals Shots Shots Allowed Hits PIM FOW Giveaways Takeaways PP PK
1 21 34 27 10 26/54 15 6 0/1 5/5

Vancouver Canucks 1 Winnipeg Jets 4

The Canucks had back to back games with the Jets and dropped the back half of the home and home 4-1. Ryan Miller struggled, giving up 4 goals on 25 shots and Markus Granlund’s 7th of the season was the only goal Vancouver could muster. Here’s the highlights.

Players to Watch

Calgary Flames v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Calgary Flames: Matthew Tkachuk (F). Matthew Tkachuk does nothing quietly, but you’d be surprised at what a fantastic season the rookie forward is having. Tkachuk is 3rd on the team in points with 18 (6G 12A) and is WAY ahead in PIM with 62. Aside from his ability to get under the opponent’s skin, he’s been showing off some incredibly heads up hockey lately and his ability to see the play before it develops has been growing. In 9 games this month Tkachuk has 8 points, all assists, including a 3 point game against the Jets.

New York Rangers v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks: Bo Horvat (C). Horvat has 5 points in his last 5 games (2G 3A), but was held pointless in the first meeting between these two teams. Horvat is 3rd on the Canucks in points with 21 (10G 11A) and is a terror in the enemy’s building. In 16 road games he has 10 points (2G 8A) and when the Canucks win he’s a whopping +12. When they lose, he’s a jaw dropping -13.