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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks 1/6/17 (41/82)

The surging Canucks welcome the Flames to Vancouver for the first of a home and home between the two teams.

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images
Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks, 8 PM MT, Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC
Broadcast Cchedule
TV: RSNW, RSNP
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames will travel to Vancouver for the first game of a home and home series with the Canucks tonight. Calgary and Vancouver have played twice so far this season with the teams splitting and Calgary winning the last time these two played 4-1.

The Flames have held steady in 4th place in the Pacific and 7th in the West over the last 2 weeks. Calgary has won 4 out of their last 5 and a win Friday night over the hated Canucks would put a little more space between the Flames and Vancouver. Calgary has gotten very steady goaltending as of late from Brian Elliott, who finds himself with a 5 game winning streak. Offencively the Flames are riding the hot stick of Mikael Backlund. In his last 6 games Backlund has 9 points, including a 3 point effort against Vancouver back on December 23rd.

Vancouver meanwhile is on a tear of their own. The ‘Nucks are winners of 5 straight and their last loss came at the hands of these very Flames. Vancouver sits 2 spots behind the Flames in the Pacific and only 3 points separates these two in the standings. The Canucks haven’t gotten on this 5 game winning streak the easy way. Two of their wins in this current streak came via shootout, both against Anaheim and Edmonton. The Vancouver team Calgary wiped the ice with 2 weeks ago isn’t the same team. This Canucks group is looking to make a charge towards the playoffs and the Flames need to take this one seriously.

Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks
21-17-2 Record 19-18-3
44 Points 41
4th Pacific Division 6th Pacific
7th West Conference 10th West
4-1-0 Last 5 5-0-0
107 Goals For 96
111 Goals Against 115
Backlund (12) Goals Horvat (12)
Gaudreau (26) Points Horvat (27)
Johnson (.920) Save % Markstrom (.913)
20.7 (10th) PP % 13.9 (27th)
81.6 (16th) PK % 80.3 (21st)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed) Record GAA Save %
Flames: Elliott (E) 8-9-1 2.90 .894
Canucks: Miller (E) 11-10-1 2.65 .912

Calgary Flames 4 Colorado Avalanche 1

The Flames last took to the ice on Wednesday night and cruised to a 4-1 victory over the lifeless Colorado Avalanche. Mikael Backlund continued to pile up the points and Brian Elliott won his 5th straight game between the pipes. Here’s our recap, highlights and stats from the contest.

Flames Stats vs Avalanche 1/4/17
Goals Shots Shots Allowed Hits PIM FOW Giveaways Takeaways PP PK
4 37 18 14 6 41/68 12 12 3/7 3/3

Vancouver Canucks 3 Arizona Coyotes 0

Vancouver took it’s winning streak to 5 in a row with a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes Wednesday night. Ryan Miller stopped all 22 shots he faced and Bo Horvat added a point to his team leading total in the win. Nucks Misconduct has the recap and NHL.com has the highlights.

Players To Watch

Arizona Coyotes v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Calgary Flames: Matthew Tkachuk (F). Tkachuk has been providing the Flames with offence as of late. In 10 of his last 14 he’s registered a point and he’s had 2 multi point games over that stretch. Tkachuk scored a goal in the Flames 4-1 win the last time these two played, giving him his first points against Vancouver this season. With how contentious the games between these two teams can get, Tkachuk is a very valuable asset that can get under the oppositions skin and draw minor penalties.

Winnipeg Jets v Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks: Sven Baertschi (F). The former Flames prospect is having himself quite a season in 2016-17. In 37 games Baertschi has 23 points and has 6 points in his last 4. Baertschi has come up empty in 2 games against his old team, but has 13 of his 23 points at home.