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Calgary Flames vs Arizona Coyotes 3/6/20 (69/82): Flames Look To Put Distance Between Themselves & Coyotes

The Flames and Coyotes are both on winning streaks as they come into this game.

Arizona Coyotes v Calgary Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/NHLI via Getty Images

Calgary Flames vs Arizona Coyotes, 7 PM MT, Scotibank Saddledome, Calgary AB

TV: SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 35-26-7 (77 pts) - Arizona Coyotes 33-27-8 (74)

NHL Standings

As big games go down the stretch, this surely is one. The Flames will host the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night in a game that puts the Flames 2.5 games ahead of the ‘Yotes or finds Arizona nipping at Calgary’s heels.

The Flames hold a slight three point lead of the Coyotes in the Pacific Division with Arizona in a log jam with Vancouver, Nashville and Winnipeg all at 74 points and battling for the final two playoff spots in the conference. Both teams come into tonight with two game winning streaks and the Coyotes getting a huge victory over Vancouver on Wednesday night.

Calgary comes into this contest with one of their more emotional wins on the season in their back pockets. Calgary found themselves down 2-0 to Columbus Wednesday night with under 9 minutes to go in the third period. Calgary battled back and tied it in the third and managed to play well enough in OT to get the game winner off the stick of T.J. Brodie. If the Flames plan to put some much needed distance between themselves and the ‘Yotes, Calgary is going to have to play much better than they did against the Blue Jackets. Playing less than 10 minutes of quality hockey against a team like Arizona isn’t going to cut it.

The Coyotes have done OK to remain in playoff contention after they hit a snag to start the new year. Arizona lost 7 of the 11 games they played in the month of January and things were looking bleak. Since then they have gone 7-6-2 and gotten themselves right back into the playoff picture and done a lot of it with goaltending. Arizona has given up the 4th least amount of goals, surrendering only 176 goals on the season. Both Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta have save percentages north of .920 and have combined for four shutouts on the season. In Arizona’s last 5 victories they have only given up 9 goals.

These two have already played three times this year, with Calgary holding a 2-1-0 advantage. The last time they met Calgary defeated the Coyotes at Gila River Arena by the score of 5-2. The Flames are 63-37-9 all time at the Saddledome against Arizona and have won 14 out of the last 20 times the Coyotes have come to visit.

Starting Goalies

Flames: Talbot (Expected) 11-10-1, 2.66 GAA, .916 SV%

Coyotes: Kuemper (Expected) 16-9-2, 2.16 GAA, .929 SV%

Team Leaders

Flames - Goals: Lindholm (29), Points: Tkachuk (57), PIM: Tkachuk (74), Save%: Talbot (.916)

Coyotes - Goals: Garland (22), Points: Keller (43), PIM: Ekman-Larsson (38), Save%: Kuemper (.929)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Arizona Coyotes Coverage: Five For Howling

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 - Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (OT)

Arizona Coyotes 4 - Vancouver Canucks 2

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Mark Giordano (D): 5 assists in last 5 games

Arizona Coyotes

Florida Panthers v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Conor Garland (F): 4 points in last 5 games