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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Minnesota Wild 2/1/17 (53/82)

The Flames come back from the break and host the 1st place Minnesota Wild at the Saddledome tonight

Minnesota Wild v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images
Calgary Flames vs Minnesota Wild, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Broadcast Schedule
TV: RSNW, FSN
Radio: Sportsnet 960

There’s hockey to be played in Calgary tonight as the Flames welcome the 1st place Minnesota Wild to the Saddledome in a Western Conference tilt. Calgary opens the second half of the season on a brief 1 game home stand and on the outside looking in with regards to the playoffs. The Flames and their brutal play of late have knocked themselves back into 9th place in the West and they have 2 games on 8th place St. Louis. Basically, if the Flames want in, it’s up to them. They hit the break on a high with a thrilling 3-2 OT win over Ottawa and they’ll look to carry that good fortune into this contest. Calgary has already defeated the Wild twice this season, the first time in the infamous game where Johnny Gaudreau was slashed so many times he had his hand broken. No doubt the Flames will have extra motivation as they try and sweep the season series from Minnesota and try to get back into the playoff picture.

The Wild are coasting right now in first place in both the Central Division and Western Conference. The Wild have a 5 point lead on second place San Jose and have been playing lights out hockey over the last 2 months. Since December 1st, the Wild are an unthinkable 22-4-1 and have won 5 of their last 6. There really isn’t much the Wild do poorly. They have fantastic goaltending, they’re Top 10 in both PP% and PK%, top 4 in GF and are the second stingiest team in the league when it comes to goals allowed.

The Flames certainly would appear to have their work cut out for them, but they have taken down the Minnesota Wild twice already this season. Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Minnesota Wild
25-24-3 Record 33-11-5
53 Points 71
5th Pacific Division 1st Central
9th West Conference 1st West
1-4-0 Last 5 4-1-0
132 Goals For 163
147 Goals Against 109
Monahan (16) Goals Staal (16)
Backlund (34) Points Granlund (42)
Tkachuk (92) PIM Stewart (58)
Johnson (.913) Save % Dubnyk (.936)
20.3 (14th) PP % 21.3 (10th)
80.9 (17th) PK % 83.8 (6th)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Player Record GAA Save %
Flames: Johnson (E) 16-12-1 2.50 .913
Wild: Dubnyk (E) 27-8-3 1.88 .936

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 Ottawa Senators 2 (OT)

The Flames gained some confidence heading into the break with a 3-2 OT win against the Senators. The Flames ended a drought where they allowed the first goal in 9 straight games when Micheal Ferland scored his 6th of the season. Calgary would blow a 2 goal lead, but Johnny Gaudreau would save the day in OT. Here’s our recap and highlights from the contest.

Minnesota Wild 5 Edmonton Oilers 2

The Wild came back from the All Star Break and handled the Edmonton Oilers with ease. Jason Zucker had a 2 point night and Darcy Kuemper stopped 41 of 43 shots and picked up an assist in the 5-2 win. Hockey Wilderness has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Calgary Flames:

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

Hot: Dougie Hamilton (D). Hamilton has 5 points in his last 5 games, including a 2 point effort against the Predators. He’s fired 11 shots on net over that span and has been an even 0 three times. He has yet to register a point against the Wild this season.

Calgary Flames v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Not: T.J. Brodie (D). Brodie is struggling mightily this season and it can be argued it’s the defence pairings leading to those struggles. He’s only registered 1 point in his last 12 trips to the rink and has been on the minus side of the ledger in 4 of his last 5.

Minnesota Wild:

Winnipeg Jets v Minnesota Wild Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Hot: Mikael Granlund (F). The Finnish product has been scorching the opposition as of late. Granlund has 11 points in his last 10 and had 30 SOG over that time frame. Of his 42 points, 18 have come in the 25 road games the Wild have played.

Not: No one. When you’ve won 22 of you last 27, everything is going well.