|Calgary Flames vs Arizona Coyotes, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB|
|TV: FAz+, RSNW|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames are finally playing hockey as they return from their bye week to battle the Arizona Coyotes. The Flames have been playing outstanding hockey lately as they headed into the break winners of 3 of their last 4. Calgary snapped a 4 game losing skid 2 weeks ago on the back of Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson stepped in to take down the Penguins before the break. It looks as if the Flames goaltenders are starting to find solid ground again and that will be huge if the Flames want to make a playoff push. So far this season the Flames find themselves 4-0-0 against the Desert Dogs, a far cry from last year’s abysmal 1-4-0 record against Arizona. A season sweep of the ‘Yotes would be big for Calgary as all of their Western Conference rivals have the night off and they Flames could gain a little ground in the playoff picture.
The Coyotes are 2-2-1 in their last 5 as they come to the Saddledome and have been playing better since they ended a 4 game skid back in mid January. Arizona is 7-7-2 since the calendar changes to 2017, but find themselves WAY out of the playoff picture as they sit at 13th in the West. If Arizona loses tonight it would be the 4th time the ‘Yotes have been swept by the Flames since they moved to Arizona in 1996.
Here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Arizona Coyotes|
|5th Pacific||Division||7th Pacific|
|9th West||Conference||13th West|
|Monahan (19)||Goals||Rieder (12)|
|Backlund (38)||Points||Vrbata (36)|
|Tkachuk (92)||PIM||White (70)|
|Johnson (.914)||Save %||Smith (.915)|
|21.3 (9th)||PP %||16.1 (25th)|
|80.3 (20th)||PK %||77.3 (26th)|
|Flames: Johnson (E)||17-12-1||2.48||.914|
|Coyotes: Smith (E)||13-15-6||2.92||.915|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (SO)
The Flames headed into the break with a stellar 3-2 SO win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kris Versteeg ended it in the shoot out, but one of the major highlights was Micheal Ferland picking Sidney Crosby’s pocket and out skating him to the Pittsburgh end and scoring a goal. Chad Johnson stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced to get the win. Here’s our recap and the highlights.
Arizona Coyotes 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (OT)
The Coyotes last took to the ice on Saturday night and continued Pittsburgh’s miserable trip West with a 4-3 OT win. Mike Smith stopped 28 of 31 and Martin Hanzal netted a pair to get Arizona their 18th win on the season. Five For Howling has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Hot: Micheal Ferland (F). Micheal Ferland has had a resurgence over the last week for the Flames. He had the highlight steal of the puck from Sidney Crosby which lead to a goal for Ferland which was his 3rd goal in 5 games for the Manitoba product. This little run Ferland is on snapped a 15 game pointless streak that dated back to December 16th.
Not: Lance Bouma (F). Bouma is in the definition of slump. The veteran winger has 1 point in his last 16 games. The last time Bouma found the back on the net was on January 21st against Edmonton. Prior to that the last time Bouma scored was against the Coyotes on New Year’s Eve.
Hot: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D). OEL has 7 points in his last 10, including a 2 assist night against the Penguins last Saturday. Ekman-Larsson is 2nd on the Coyotes in points with 30, but has struggled against the Flames where he’s got 1 point in 4 games this season.
Not: Tobias Rieder (C). Rieder is 3rd on the Coyotes in points with 22, but only has 4 goals in his last 10 games. Prior to that 10 game run he had a donut in his previous 9 games. Rieder has only 1 point against the Flames this season, a goal that he scored in a 2-1 OT loss to the Flames back on November 16th.