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Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs [Game 12]

NHL: Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames head to Ontario to take on the Atlantic Division leading Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flames are coming off of a disappointing shootout loss at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals where they managed to tie it late with the goalie pulled, but couldn’t get anything going in overtime or the shootout. Calgary has lost three straight games and is trending in the wrong direction - they were in third place in the division this time last week and they’re now tied for fifth with the Vegas Golden Knights. The Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Flames, Golden Knights, and Arizona Coyotes are all tied for third in points percentage as the Pacific looks awfully mediocre and thus awfully easy for the Flames to get back into.

The Maple Leafs announced that Auston Matthews is going to miss at least four weeks with a shoulder injury. That’s bad news for the Maple Leafs and the league as a whole as he’s one of its top draws, but good news for the Flames who won’t have to face the leagues second leading goal scorer. The Flames are the fourth worst team in goals against per 60 minutes in five-on-five play.

The bad news for the Flames - the Maple Leafs still have the second best offense in the league in goals per minute and they’ll be taking on the leagues worst goalie in the league by G.S.A.A. Mike Smith is going to be between the pipes for this one and desperately needs to pick up his play. Calgary will turn to David Rittich Tomorrow in Buffalo.

Austin Czarnik is back out of this one for some reason to go along with Michael Stone and Dalton Prout. Czarnik has been the team’s top possession forward this season and has had decent offense to boot and deserves to have a spot in the lineup over Dillon Dube, Mark Jankowski, or Garnet Hathaway if one is excluding the higher-paid players. He also has looked better than the majority of the roster and a more than a few individuals on line are clamouring for him to replace James Neal who has been very underwhelming.

Game time is at 5:00 P.M. E.S.T.