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Calgary Flames vs Minnesota Wild Preview 2/17/2016 (54/82)

The Flames host the Wild tonight at the 'Dome and this is the first of many "must win games" if the season is to continue past April 9th.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild @ Calgary Flames, 10 PM ET, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

Broadcast Schedule
TV: RSN, FSN, SN ONE
Radio: Sportsnet 960 The Fan

The Flames limped back to the Saddledome after a listless performance in Arizona to only get knocked down by the Anaheim Ducks 6-4 on Monday afternoon. Tonight the Flames welcome the Minnesota Wild to town in the first of 3 games against their Western Conference opponent. Calgary may have limped home, but the Wild are in much worse shape. They are 2-13 in their last 15 games and are in a spectacular free fall. If you think the Flames are bad right now, at least it's not Minnesota Wild bad. But with that said, the Wild are only 4 points out of the Wildcard spot. Ladies and gentlemen, YOUR 2015-16 WESTERN CONFERENCE!!!!!! Minny needs this win, but the Flames DESPERATELY (how many times have I typed this lately??) need a win tonight. Calgary is already 9 points out of the Wildcard and a loss tonight makes it close to impossible to make the climb to the playoffs. The Flames do tend to play well against these Wild at home, holding a 24-13-3 record against the newest Minnesota team and that trend has to continue tonight. What trend doesn't need to continue is Calgary's 3 straight losses to the Wild where they've been outscored 8-4. Here's how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Minnesota Wild
25-27-3 Record 24-22-10
53 Points 58
6th Pacific Division 6th Central
10th West (tie) Conference 8th West (tie)
4-6 Last 10 Games 2-8
148 Goals For 140
166 Goals Against 140
Gaudreau (22) Goals Parise (18)
Gaudreau (54) Points Koivu (38)
Ramo (.909) SV % Kuemper (.918)
29th (15.6%) PP 22nd  (17.5%)
29th (73.4%) PK 25th (78.3)

The Flames played a rare matinee game against the Ducks on Monday afternoon and lost 6-4. Calgary started out strong, but bad penalties and poor goal tending doomed the Flames. Jiri Hudler continues to up his trade value with 2 goals scored and Johnny Gaudreau had a 3 point game as he continues to lead this Flames offense. Here's the highlights:

The Minnesota Wild last skated on Monday as well and snapped an 8 game skid by beating the Canucks 5-2. Ryan Suter snagged two assists and Zach Parise scored his team leading 8th goal en route to the win. Here's the highlights:

Calgary Flames Projected Lineup (these are the projected lines and can be changed any time before the puck drop)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Sam Bennett Mikael Backlund Micheal Ferland
Josh Jooris Joe Colborne Michael Frolik
Brandon Bollig Matt Stajan Lance Bouma
Left Defense Right Defense
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Ladislav Smid Dougie Hamilton
Deryk Engelland Jakub Nakladal
Goalies
Joni Ortio Jonas Hiller (s) 

Scratches: Markus GranlundDennis Wideman (susp)

Injuries:  Karri Ramo, Kris Russell, David Jones

Minnesota Wild Projected Lineup  (these are the projected lines and can be changed any time before the puck drop)

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Zach Parise Mikko Koivu Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker Mikael Granlund Thomas Vanek
Nino Niederreiter Erik Haula Jason Pominville
Ryan Carter Jarret Stoll Justin Fontaine
Left Defense Right Defense
Ryan Suter Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella Mathew Dumba
Mike Reilly Christian Folin
Goalies
Devan Dubnyk (s) Darcy Kuemper

Scratches: None

Injuries: Jonas Brodin