|Calgary Flames @ Florida Panthers, 5:30 PM MT, BB&T Center, Sunrise FL|
|TV: RSNW, TVA, Fox Sports Florida|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames head into the swamp land of Florida riding high on a 2 game winning streak. As up and down as the Flames have been all season, they are a very quiet 7-2-1 over their last 10. Calgary still holds that 8th and final spot in the West, but have a 4 point cushion between themselves and the 9th place Kings. Calgary dropped the Panthers 5-2 back on January 17th behind a 3 point night from Mikael Backlund and a win tonight adds to the point total and gives the Flames a season sweep of the Panthers. Since the league expanded the East/West series to twice a season, the Flames and Panthers have split every year, but the Flames play well when visiting the Swamp Kitties. Calgary is 8-5-2 in the Panthers home building since Florida came into the league.
Florida is 4th in the WC standings, but that’s not as bad as it reads. They are only 2 points out of the final spot, behind only the 8th place Islanders and Bruins, both with 68 points. Part of the reason for the Panthers resurgence has been the month of February. Florida is a stellar 6-2-0 this month and they just had a 5 game winning streak snapped by the Oilers on Wednesday night. And they aren’t beating cupcakes either. Florida has run the gauntlet of the Western Conference and knocked off: Anaheim (x2), Nashville, St. Louis, San Jose and LA. That’s an extremely difficult run and the Cats handled it with relative ease. As for Florida and Calgary, the Panthers beat the Flames last season at their home rink, but had lost 3 out of the 4 prior visits the Flames made to the Sunshine State.
Here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Florida Panthers|
|4th Pacific||Division||4th Atlantic|
|8th West||Conference||10th East|
|Monahan (19)||Goals||Trocheck (21)|
|Backlund (41)||Points||Trocheck (42)|
|Tkachuk (94)||PIM||Ekblad (56)|
|Elliott (.895)||Save %||Reimer (.918)|
|19.9 (12th)||PP %||15.8 (26th)|
|80.8 (20th)||PK %||85.2 (3rd)|
|Flames: Elliott (E)||13-13-3||2.83||.895|
|Panthers: Luongo (E)||16-14-6||2.69||.915|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 2
The Flames sure do like the flair for the dramatic as of late. The Flames had a 3-1 lead when they took a bad penalty VERY late in the third and gave up a goal to cut their lead to 3-2. The Flames would grind out the last minute with some help from Brian Elliott and get a 3-2 win and continue to hold onto the 8 spot in the West. Sean Monahan scored his 100th career goal in the contest and Dougie Hamilton had another multi point night to pace the Flames. Here’s our recap, the highlights and Sean Monahan and Glen Gulutzan’s post game thoughts.
Florida Panthers 3 Edmonton Oilers 4
No one has been hotter than the Panthers this month, but that didn’t seem to matter to the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton came into Florida and snapped the Panthers 5 game winning streak with a 4-3 win Wednesday night. Keith Yandle and Jussi Jokinen had 2 point nights apiece, but it wasn’t enough to get the Panthers over the hump. Litter Box Cats has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Hot: Mikael Backlund (C). Backlund continues to be a point machine for the Flames as he leads the team with 41 on the season. Backlund has 10 points in his last 10, but only 4 are goals. He snapped a 5 game goal-less streak against the Predators with a 2 goal game and had a goal and an assist against Tampa Bay on Thursday night. While the puck hasn’t been finding the net, Backlund has been dishing out helpers, getting 6 assists in that 10 game stretch.
Not: Alex Chiasson (F). 1 goal (his only point) in 18 games will land you in the “NOT” pile and that’s exactly where we find Mr. Chiasson. His best stretch of the season came from November 25th to December 6th where he grabbed 7 of his 15 points on the season. Since then it’s been donuts. It’s been 31 games since December 6th and Chiasson has exactly........4 points. Brutal.
Hot: James Reimer (G). Reimer is 5-1-0 in his last six games and has taken down San Jose, St. Louis and Anaheim over that stretch. The 28 year old Manitoba product has faced 189 shots over those 6 games and allowed only 12 goals. Reimer did not play against the Flames in their only meeting this season.
Not: No one. When you look through the Panters roster, it’s next to impossible to find someone not playing well lately. Plus, when you reel off 5 straight and beat up on the big guns in the West, things are going ok. Want to nitpick? The fans. The Panthers are 27th in the league in attendance.