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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks 12/9/17 (30/82): Keep It Up Defense

Calgary heads home riding some strong team play in the last two games

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames, 8:00pm MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

CBC, SN960

The Flames arrive back at the Saddledome as a much more confident bunch than the team that departed just four short days ago. Calgary was coming off of their most disappointing stretch of the season, punctuated by a 5-2 loss to the Flyers who came in having lost ten straight.

With the team poised to head East, things were not looking good, then the Flames came out with arguably two of their best performances of the season in Toronto and Montreal. Picking up three out of a possible four points against two strong teams is definitely a momentum booster as the Flames return home to face Vancouver.

The Flames strong trip was spurred one by the sudden emergence of a Bennett-Jankowski-Hathaway line that combined for 13 shots over the two games and the tying goal against Montreal. The defense really showed up on the trip as well, limiting bad mistakes and creating chances offensively.

Vancouver enters the contest coming off a 4-1 loss to the Flyers where their three game winning streak was snapped. The Canucks are also going to be without star centre Bo Horvat for the foreseeable future as he has an ankle injury evaluated.

Both teams currently sit tied at 32 points, right on the brink of a playoff spot, with Vancouver holding down the second wild card spot thanks to a ROW tiebreaker. Needless to say, this game has a lot of meaning for both teams.

Tale of the Tape

Calgary Flames Stats Vancouver Canucks
Calgary Flames Stats Vancouver Canucks
15-12-2 Record 14-11-4
32 Points 32
5th in Pacific Division 4th in Pacific
9th in West Conference 8th in West
2-3-1 Last 5 3-2-0
84 GF 79
92 GA 81
Monahan (17) Goals Boeser (14)
Gaudreau (37) Points Boeser (26)
Hamonic (38) PIM Dorsett (74)
Smith (.918) Save% Nilsson (.922)
20.20 (13th) PP% 20.79 (12th)
76.59 (26th) PK% 79.41 (19th)
1-1-0 2017-18 VS 1-1-0
132-91-33-15 Overall VS 106-126-33-6

Starting Goalies E= Expected C = Confirmed

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 12-9-2 2.71 .918
Canucks: Markstrom (E) 8-9-3 2.44 .922

What’s Happening with the Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 @ Montreal Canadiens 2 (OT)

The Flames went into Montreal on a night that may have been a scheduled loss, and clawed out a tight overtime victory. Here’s our recap and highlights from NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks 1 vs Philadelphia Flyers 4

The Canucks had their brief winning streak snapped and could only get one puck by Brian Elliott. It was the Canucks first home loss since November 18. Nucks Misconduct has the recap and NHL.com has the highlights.

Players to Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Jankowski (F): Jankowski had a strong road trip and seems to have found two linemates that he’s really comfortable with in Bennett and Hathaway on his wing. Jankowski continues to create scoring chances and is also being tested with more responsibility by Gulutzan with PK time. He even got some 3 on 3 time against Toronto.

Vancouver Canucks

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Boeser (F): The dynamic rookie is turning heads around the NHL with 14 goals and 26 points in 26 games. He’s the future of the Canucks and has been driving their offense this season. He has two points in two games against the Flames this year.