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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks, 2/9/19 (55/82): Don’t Look Now, But Here Come The Canucks

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The Pacific Division basement is getting interesting.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

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)

NHL Standings

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%

Team Leaders

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

Calgary Flames

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Garnet Hathaway (F)- 7G - 2A, 3 points in last 5 games

Vancouver Canucks

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Elias Pettersson (C)- 25G - 25A, 4 points in last 5 games