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The Flames Go For Four In A Row Tonight

And should be able to accomplish that thanks to Vancouver’s unwanted free agents.

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks, 8 PM MT, Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC

TV: CBC, SN, NHLN - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames (7-5-1, 15 pts) - Vancouver Canucks (6-11-0, 12 pts)

NHL Standings

The formula is pretty simple for the Calgary Flames: do it again. That’s all. Calgary is in Vancouver for game two of a three game set against a reeling Canucks team. The Flames long time rivals have dropped six straight and don’t look inspired at all on the ice. In a 3-1 loss to Calgary Vancouver went 0-4 on the PP, were hammered by Flames checks 21-12 and only won 42.9% of their faceoffs. The one area they did better than the Flames in SOG, but when they did, former teammate Jacob Markstrom was having none of it, stopping 33 of the 34 shots the ‘Nucks tossed at them.

It’s always tough to lose to a division rival, but it’s even worse when two of your former players have a hand in the beatdown. Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev were instrumental in sending Vancouver to their sixth loss in a row. We’ve already mentioned Markstrom and his stellar play, but Tanev was just as good. He and his partner Noah Hanifin logged the most minutes on the Calgary blue line, he blocked two shots, was physical and finished a +1. His play this season has been a revelation and it continued against his former team. Both players have reasons to be fired up, but showing your former team they made a mistake by letting you go is always at the top of the list and both Vancouver exports are doing that well.

Not well, well, that describes the Canucks to a tee. They are free falling in the North Division and they are staring at the real possibility of being a rather larger hole after their four game (3 in Vancouver and 1 in Calgary) series with the Flames. In a short season long losing streaks aren’t a good thing at all and after they finish with Calgary the Canucks are looking at three with Edmonton, three with Winnipeg and two with the high powered Maple Leafs. Something needs to click with Vancouver or they will be looking at occupying the basement of the North Division with the Ottawa Senators.

It’s been all about goal scoring, or lack thereof for the Canucks during their losing streak. They’ve now gone three straight games with only scoring one goal and haven’t scored more than three times at any point during this six game run of futility. They’ve also been outscored 8-2 in the first period in the last six games, something the Flames had been accustomed to as well. Slow starts and lackluster middles and finishes have been the norm for Vancouver and they are looking at a schedule filled with teams (including your new look Flames) who can put the puck in the net quickly and in bunches.

As we mentioned at the start the Flames can win their fourth in a row if they just go out and do what they did Thursday night.....minus some of the dumb penalties. Calgary held the Canucks in check all night long and continued to get hot performances from their best players. Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane continued to play their best hockey with a goal a piece and Sean Monahan came to life with a two point effort as well. The Flames got their Captain on the score sheet as Mark Giordano scored for only the second time this season and if they can get some secondary scoring for the likes of Gio and their bottom six, the Flames will keep rolling. Just get Markstrom a few markers, remind him repeatedly that the Canucks didn’t want him and both the Flames and Canucks should extend their streaks tonight.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Markstrom (E): 7-3-1, 2.36 GAA, .921 SV%

Canucks: Holtby (E): 3-5-0, 3.75 GAA, .885 SV%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (8), Points- Gaudreau (14), PIM- Tkachuk (13), Save%- Markstrom (.921)

Canucks: Goals- Boeser (10), Points- Hughes (17), PIM: Myers (33). Save%- Demko (.895)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Vancouver Canucks Coverage: Nucks Misconduct

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 - Vancouver Canucks 1

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Andrew Mangiapane (F): 5 points in last 4 games

Vancouver Canucks

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

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