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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks 12/29/19 (40/82): Flames Will Try & Slow Down The Hot Canucks

A win gives Calgary a little bit of breathing room in the Pacific.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks, 7:30 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

TV: SN, SN360, SN1 - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 20-15-5 (45 pts) - Vancouver Canucks 20-15-4 (44 pts)

NHL Standings

The Flames return home to take on another division rival, this time in the form of the Vancouver Canucks. Calgary got back on the winning track with a 5-1 dismantling of the Edmonton Oilers Friday night. The Flames five goal outburst was their second such scoring bonanza in three games. Five different Flames scored goals and David Rittich was once again a brick wall in net.

The Pacific Division is currently anyone’s to grab with Vegas holding a two point lead over Arizona and a small three point advantage over the Flames. A win tonight and Calgary could climb within one point of the lead with Vegas being idle tonight. The Flames could also put a little distance between themselves and the Canucks who are lurking just behind Calgary in the standings.

Vancouver has gotten themselves into that position by playing some fantastic hockey as of late. The Canucks had a stretch where they lost four of five from December 10 to December 17th, but since then it’s been all systems go. The ‘Nucks are on a current four game winning streak that has seen them outscore their opponents 16-9 and that little spurt has seen Vancouver jump up to 12th in the league in GF with 124. Not only have they been doing it even strength, their PP has been heating up as well. They’ve got four markers with the man advantage over that stretch and are 4th overall in the NHL with a PP% of 25.8.

These two have only met once this season with the Flames getting a 3-0 win back on October 10th. The Flames have owned the Canucks in their last 10 meetings, going 6-2-2 over that stretch and averaging 3.8 GPG. Vancouver has also lost three of the last five times they’ve visited the Saddledome.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Rittich (E)- 17-8-5, 2.65 GAA, .916 Save%

Canucks: Demko (E)- 7-4-1, 3.00 GAA, .906 Save%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals: Lindholm (16) Points: Tkachuk (33) PIM: Lucic (34) Save%: Rittich (.916)

Canucks: Goals: Pettersson (18) Points: Pettersson (41) PIM: Edler (34) Save%: Markstrom (.919)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Vancouver Canucks Coverage: Nucks Misconduct

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 5 - Edmonton Oilers 1

Vancouver Canucks 3 - LA Kings 2

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk (F): 6 points in last 5 games

Vancouver Canucks

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Vancouver Canucks Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Boeser (F): 5 points in last 5 games