|Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks, 8 PM MT, Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC|
|TV: CBC, RSN|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames have hit the road and they won’t be back to the Dome for 10 days. Calgary embarks on a 5 game road swing and their first stop is in Vancouver to take on the rival Canucks. The Flames have jumped back into the 8th and final playoff spot in the West with a win over Philly and some help from their division rivals. It’s not a strong hold on that final spot by any stretch of the imagination as the Flames have been playing inconsistent hockey over the last few weeks. Calgary is 7-8-0 in their last 15, but luckily only 3 of those losses have come against teams from the West. The Flames are 2-1-1 against Vancouver this season and they took the last meeting between these rivals 3-1 back on January 7th. The Flames need these two points badly to stay in the final playoff spot and coming out hot early, would certainly help their cause.
The Canucks meanwhile have seen themselves slip out of the playoff picture with their play as of late. Vancouver has only won 3 times in their last 10 and have given up 3 goals or more 7 times over that stretch. The Canucks sit 6th in the Pacific, 5 points behind the Flames and a win tonight would be huge for the ‘Nucks as it would creep them closer to that final WC spot that Calgary currently holds. The Canucks are an even 2-2-0 in Calgary’s last 4 trips to Vancouver.
Here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Vancouver Canucks|
|4th Pacific||Division||6th Pacific|
|Monahan (19)||Goals||Horvat (18)|
|Backlund (39)||Points||Horvat (39)|
|Tkachuk (92)||PIM||Burrows (51)|
|Johnson (.912)||Save %||Miller (.916)|
|20.4 (12th)||PP %||15.3 (27th)|
|80.8 (19th)||PK %||78.6 (24th)|
|Flames: Elliott (E)||12-13-2||2.79||.898|
|Canucks: Miller (E)||15-16-3||2.65||.916|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 Philadelphia Flyers 1
The Flames last took the ice on Wednesday and beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1. It wasn’t the Flames prettiest game, as they were pretty much outplayed by the Flyers for the entire contest, but a win is a win. Brian Elliott kept the Flames in this contest by stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced to get the win. Here’s our recap and highlights from the contest.
Vancouver Canucks 3 St. Louis Blues 4
Vancouver dropped 2 big points in the West with a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Bo Horvat scored his team leading 18th goal of the season in the contest, but it wasn’t enough to get the Canucks the victory. Nucks Misconduct has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Hot: Brian Elliott (G). Elliott was red hot against the Flyers stopping 33 of 34 and he had some huge saves that gave the Flames a chance to grab a lead and get a win. Elliott is 4-1-0 in his last 5 starts and is showing signs of being the goaltender the Flames traded for on draft day. Elliott is 1-1-0 against the Canucks in his 2 starts against them this season.
Not: Chad Johnson (G). Johnson has been stumbling lately, which has allowed Brian Elliott to take over the reigns of #1 goalie.....as long as he keeps winning. Johnson is 2-4-0 in his last 6 starts, including the 5-0 implosion against the Coyotes where he gave up 4 goals and was pulled from the contest.
Hot: Bo Horvat (C). Horvat is Vancouver’s leading goal scorer this season and he also leads the Canucks in points. He’s added to that point total over the last 10 games where he’s pilled up 9 points, 5 of which are goals. Horvat has a goal and an assist so far against the Flames this season.
Not: Loui Eriksson (F). Eriksson has been ice cold for the Canucks lately. The Swedish product has only 1 point in his last 12 games, a goal in a 3-0 win over Columbus back on February 9th. He’s also been in the minus column in 5 of his last 7. Eriksson has a goal and an assist against the Flames this season, but he will be remembered for scoring on his own empty net against the Flames and sending the game to OT when Vancouver was up 1-0.