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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets 12/27/18 (38/82): Flames Look To Close Gap On Jets

Calgary can climb within one point of Winnipeg with a victory Thursday night.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets, 6:00 PM MT, Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg MB

TV: SNW

Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 22-12-3 (47 pts) - Winnipeg Jets 24-10-2 ( 50 pts)

NHL Standings

The Flames return from the holiday break with a mini two game road trip that starts Thursday night in Winnipeg. Calgary has dropped three straight games, the second time they have done that all year, but all is not lost in Alberta. The Flames are currently in first place in the Pacific Division and find themselves in second place in the West, three points behind these Winnpeg Jets.

This game is huge for Calgary as a win would get them back into the right side of the ledger AND it would close the gap between the Flames and Jets to one point, despite the Flames poor play in two of their last three games. The last time these two meet the Flames throttled the Jets 6-3, chasing Connor Hellebuyck from the game after he surrendered three goals on nine first period shots. Calgary would pour in five total first period goals en route to the victory. Don’t bet on Hellebuyck playing that poorly again. Since that loss the UMass Lowell product has gone 11-6-1 and he only had three stinkers, givng up five goals to Edmonton, Dallas and NJ in that run.

The Flames have played really well at the Saddledome against this new version of the Jets, owning a 12-3-0 record at home. In Winnipeg? That’s a different story. Calgary is 4-9-1 on the road and they have lost four out of their last five times they’ve come to Winnipeg. Each team has scored 127 goals on the season, tying them for 4th place overall in the NHL and both teams aren’t very giving at the other end of the ice either. Calgary has only allowed 101 goals on the season and Winnipeg has only given up 100 goals so far, putting them both at 26th and 27th respectively in the league in goals allowed in 2018-19.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Rittich (E)- 11-4-2, 2.29 GAA, .923 Save%

Jets: Hellebuyck (E)- 16-9-1, 2.90 GAA, .909 Save%

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Winnipeg Jets Coverage: Arctic Ice Hockey

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 - St. Louis Blues 3

Winnipeg Jets 1 - Vancouver Canucks 0

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Gaudreau (F): 16G - 32A, 6 points in last 4 games

Winnipeg Jets

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at San Jose Sharks Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Wheeler (F): 5G - 43A, 8 points in last 5 games