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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Montreal Canadiens 3/9/17 (67/82)

The Flames are back from a small break and they go for their 8th straight win as the equally as hot Montreal Canadiens come to town.

Calgary Flames v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
Calgary Flames vs Montreal Canadiens, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Broadcast Schedule
TV: RSNW, RDS
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames are finally back in action after being off since Sunday’s win over the NY Islanders. The Flames come into this tilt with the Montreal Canadiens having won 7 in a row and holding strong to the first WC spot in the West. Calgary is 9-1-1 in their last 11 and this surge has put some distance between themselves and the Kings (68 pts) and St.Louis (71) in regards to the playoffs. The other thing this winning streak has done for the Flames is it has them only 2 points behind the 5th place Ducks with 2 games left against Anaheim this season. But let’s not get too far ahead as the Flames don’t come back from a nice break with an easy team awaiting them.

The Montreal Canadiens are Calgary’s reward for some time off and for playing lights out hockey. Montreal has won 7 out of their last 8, including 6 in a row. The leaders in the Atlantic Division have been pushed to the brink over those 8 games. Four of the contests have gone to OT or a SO with Montreal winning each of those games. The Canadiens don’t have easiest path out of the Western Conference either as they have Calgary tonight and then Edmonton and Chicago.

These two last played each other on January 24th with the Canadiens easily taking down the Flames 5-1. Chad Johnson took the loss in that contest and that was the 4th loss in a row for the Flames before they started to really heat up. Since that loss the Flames have gone 12-2-1, Montreal is 9-8-1 since defeating the Flames.

Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Montreal Canadiens
36-26-4 Record 38-21-8
76 Points 84
4th Pacific Division 1st Atlantic
6th West Conference 5th East
5-0-0 Last 5 5-0-0
176 Goals For 183
180 Goals Against 164
Monahan (21) Goals Pacioretty (31)
Backlund (47) Points Pacioretty (58)
Tkachuk (94) PIM Shaw (99)
Johnson (.913) Save % Price (.923)
19.6 (14th) PP % 20.7 (11th)
80.4 (18th) PK % 80.2 (21st)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Record GAA Save %
Flames: Elliott (C) 18-13-3 2.65 .905
Canadiens: Price (E) 30-16-5 2.28 .923

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 5 NY Islanders 2

The Flames last took the ice on Sunday afternoon and dispatched the Islanders, for all intents and purposes, in the 1st period with 4 goals in the last 5 minutes of the period. Brian Elliott would stop 33 of the 35 shots that came his way to earn his 6th straight victory. Here’s our recap and the highlights from the contest.

Montreal Canadiens 2 Vancouver Canucks 1 (OT)

Montreal likes doing it the hard way. For the 4th time in 6 games the Canadiens needed extra hockey to get the win, as they outlasted the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in OT. The win gave Montreal their 6th in a row as Carey Price stopped 27 of the 28 shots that came his way. Habs Eyes On The Prize has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Calgary Flames

NHL: New York Islanders at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Hot: Mikael Backlund (C). 13 points in your last 13 will certainly get you a spot on the hot list for sure. Mikael Backlund has been the backbone of the Flames all season and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Backlund has 2 game winning goals over that 13 game stretch and 3 multi point games as well. Backlund was held without a point the first time these two met this season.

NHL: New York Islanders at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Not: Sam Bennett (C). While Backlund has 13 points over 13 games, Bennett has 2 over that same sample size. Bennett has struggled to put the puck in the net all season and while he looks like he’s going to break out at any moment, he never does. Bennett is 10th on the team in scoring and the Flames need more out of him than what he’s giving.

Montreal Canadiens

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Hot: Carey Price (G). Price is Montreal’s all world goalie and that’s exactly what he’s been lately. Price owns a 30-16-5 record on the season and he’s 6-1-0 in his last 7. He’s only allowed 10 goals in those 7 games and he’s won all 4 games that have gone beyond regulation.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Not: Phillip Danault (F). Danault finds himself 5th on the team with 31 points, but a lot of that damage was done before the calendar changed to 2017. Danault has 4 points in his last 15, all of them assists. The last time he found the back of the net was on January 21st and he had 0 points in Montreal’s 5-1 win over the Flames.