Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks, 8 PM MT, Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC
TV: CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 34-15-5 (73) - Vancouver Canucks 24-24-7 (55)
The Flames are hiting the road for a four game road trip that will make it’s first stop in Vancouver on Saturday night. The Flames are still the top team in the West and Pacific, but the rest of the Conference/Division is coming for them. Calgary has a mere two point cushion over both Winnipeg and San Jose, but what’s happening in the Wild Card race is “remarkable.” The ENTIRE Pacific Division is within four or five points of the final Wild Card spot. Now, we can pump the brakes a touch because the point differential between the top teams in playoff spots and those trying to get in is a good distance, but the Western Conference bottoms dwellers are making the second half of the season interesting.
And one of those teams is the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver is 4-4-1 in their last nine which doesn’t seem like anything to write home about, but prior to this stretch they had lost five of seven. The Canucks 55 points puts them as the first team outside of the final Wild Card spot in the West. The bad news for them is they have played three more games than St. Louis who owns that final spot so it’s going to be tough sledding for Vancouver as the final months of the season wind down. Still, Vancouver is playing “well” enough that they can make things very interesting down the stretch.
The Flames and Canucks last played on December 29th with Vancouver winning 3-2 in overtime to take a 2-1 season series lead. Vancouver has had Calgary’s number lately when the Flames come to town. The Canucks have won four out of the last six times at their home rink, including a 5-2 opening night victory over the Flames.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Rittich (E)- 20-4-4, 2.54 GAA, .916 Save%
Canucks: Markstrom (E)- 20-15-6, 2.81 GAA, .909 Save%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (29), Points- Gaudreau (74), PIM- Bennett (72), Save%- Rittich (.916)
Canucks: Goals- Pettersson (25) Points- Pettersson (48) PIM- Roussel (112) Save%- Markstrom (.909)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Vancouver Canucks Coverage: Nucks Misconduct
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 2 - San Jose Sharks 5
Vancouver Canucks 3 - Chicago Blackhawks 4 (OT)
Players To Watch
Garnet Hathaway (F)- 7G - 2A, 3 points in last 5 games
Elias Pettersson (C)- 25G - 25A, 4 points in last 5 games