|Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets, 5 PM MT, MTS Centre, Winnipeg MB|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames and their 8 game winning streak hit the road for one game as they head to the MTS Centre to do battle with the Winnipeg Jets. The Flames are the NHL’s hottest team right now and they’re going to need to keep up this play as they hit the ice every other day for the rest of the season. Calgary finds themselves a single point behind Edmonton in the Western Conference standings and just 2 points behind the Anaheim Ducks. One comforting factor for the Flames is that after this single road game to Winnipeg, the Flames settle back in at home for 8 of their last 14.
The Jets, once nipping at the Flames heels and surging towards a WC spot, are fading in the playoff picture. Winnipeg sits at 66 points, which gets them 10th place in the West and puts them 7 points behind St. Louis for the final WC spot. Since last playing the Flames, when things were closer, the Jets have gone 10-12-3 and seen their playoff hopes dim as the season winds down. While the playoffs aren’t all but done for Winnipeg, it’s not going to be easy. The Jets play 7 games on the road and 3 of those find them playing Nashville, St. Louis and LA. All teams ahead of them in the standings. They also close out the season with 8 games against teams from the Western Conference, which won’t make it easy for the struggling team from Winnipeg.
The last time these two teams met, the Jets got lights out goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck in 2-0 win at the Saddledome. This isn’t the same Flames team that Winnipeg saw last time either. Brian Elliott is on quite a run and Micheal Ferland has found his scoring touch. Calgary is 13-2-1 in their last 16 and a win tonight could put one of the nails in the coffin for the Jets. The big thing for the Flames today will be finding out which, if either, defenceman will be returning to the lineup. Both Dougie Hamilton and Michael Stone left Thursday’s game with injuries and both could be game time decisions.
Here’s how the team match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Winnipeg Jets|
|4th Pacific||Division||5th Central|
|6th West||Conference||10th West|
|Monahan (22)||Goals||Laine (32)|
|Gaudreau (48)||Points||Scheifele (68)|
|Tkachuk (94)||PIM||Byfuglien (97)|
|Johnson (.913)||Save %||Hellebuyck (.908)|
|19.5 (14th)||PP %||17.2 (24th)|
|80.6 (17th)||PK %||76.9 (28th)|
|Flames: Elliott (E)||19-13-3||2.85||.907|
|Jets: Hellebuyck (E)||22-17-3||2.83||.908|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 5 Montreal Canadiens 0
The Flames last took to the ice on Thursday night and absolutely demolished the Montreal Canadiens 5-0. The Flames scored 3 in the second period to put the game far out of reach and won their 8th straight. Johnny Gaudreau had a 4 point night and Brian Elliott earned his first shut out as a member of the Flames. Here’s our recap and the game highlights.
Winnipeg Jets 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 7
The Jets should be well rested as they haven’t played since Wednesday night. Winnipeg dropped a 7-4 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins last time out, putting them on a 2 game losing streak. The Penguins used 4 second period goals to put this one out of reach. Arctic Ice Hockey has the recap and NHL.com has the highlights.
Players To Watch:
Johnny Gaudreau (F). Gaudreau had himself a 4 point (1G 3A) effort against the Canadiens which boosted his points total to 8 in his last 5 games. Gaudreau also received a $2000 fine for his embellishment penalty on Thursday, which will probably give him a little extra motivation when he hits the ice.
Dustin Byfuglien (D). The rugged defenceman and PIM machine had upped his offence lately. He’s got 6 points in his last 5, 1 being a goal. He’s also only collected 4 PIM in those 5, which upped his season total to 96 (5th in the NHL). He had one of Winnipeg’s two goals in their 2-0 win over the Flames.