Calgary Flames vs Minnesota Wild, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 17-9-2 (36 pts) - Minnesota Wild 15-10-2 (32 pts)
The Flames return home with a 3 game winning streak (8 of their last 9), capped off by a bizarre 9-6 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night. Calgary’s offence is clicking right now and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Flames competition this week is much stiffer than the previous one and if they’re going to make it through this week, goals will be in order. The 9 pucks they put past Columbus gave the Flames 100 goals on the season, one of 5 teams to reach that plateau so far in 2018-19. Calgary is certainly scoring, but it’s the way they are scoring that is most impressive. The Flames PP is now 10th in the league, scoring at a 23.8% clip. Their even 100 goals are 5th in the NHL and if you think by having a 3-4 goal lead is safe, you’re wrong. Calgary has scored 4 unanswered goals 8 times and have defeated the competition by 3 goals or more 9 times on the young season.
Minnesota comes into the Saddledome having lost 5 of their last 8 games, but their special teams are extremely strong. The Wild are in 9th place with regards to the PP, having scored 21 PPG in 88 opportunities and their PK is outstanding as well. Minnesota’s man down unit has surrendered a measly 14 goals in 88 times while playing with a skater in the box. Like Calgary, they can also score with one less skater on the ice. Minnesota is 4th in the NHL in SHG with 4, Calgary has 6.
The Saddledome hasn’t been the friendliest of place for the home team when it comes to playing the Wild. Calgary has dropped 4 out of their last 6 home games against Minny, including their one trip to Calgary last season. Both teams are playing very well against conference opponents with Minnesota owning a 13-6-1 record compared to Calgary’s 12-6-1 record in the Western Conference.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Smith (E)- 9-7-1, 3.11 GAA, .884 Save%
Wild: Dubnyk (E)- 10-8-2, 2.68 GAA, .911 Save%
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Minnesota Wild Coverage: Hockey Wilderness
3 THINGS WE LEARNED from last night’s win over Vancouver.— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) December 5, 2018
The 3rd line is good.
Can Zucker be a 30 goal scored again this season?
December Devan Dubnyk
via, @HappyR_5 https://t.co/kjBemqIKo4 pic.twitter.com/Uw9sdDAve8
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 9 Columbus Blue Jackets 6
Minnesota Wild 3 Vancouver Canucks 2
Players To Watch
Johnny Gaudreau (F): 12G - 23A, 16 points in last 9 games
Mikael Granlund (C): 11G - 17A, 9 points in last 6 games