Calgary Flames @ Ottawa Senators, 3 PM MT, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa ON
TV: TVAS, SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (15-15-3, 33 pts) - Ottawa Senators (11-20-3, 23 pts)
There really isn’t much else to say other than the Flames REALLY need to win this game today if they have any chance of keeping their playoff hopes alive. Those hopes are currently in the back on an ambulance on life support after Monday’s disheartening loss to the Ottawa Senators, 2-1. I’m not even going to call the Senators “lowly” anymore as they are more of a cohesive unit than the Flames are at this juncture in the season. Calgary has now dropped four out of the six games they have played against the team at the bottom of the North Division standings. Ottawa has only won 11 total games this season, four of those have come against the Flames. That’s bad. Very bad.
Whatever bump and or good will that came with the Darryl Sutter takeover has gone out the window. When you know you’re playing for your season and you’re up against a goalie making his first NHL start and said goalie plays for the team with the 4th worst record in the league and you can’t get up for that to blow them out and take two points, that pretty much tells you all you need to know about where this Flames season has gone and is going.
To make the playoffs, pundits have done the math and are saying the Flames need to win 16 of their remaining 23 games to get in. They’ve only won 15 of their first 33, so you can do the math and come to your own conclusions. They need to defeat the 11 win Senators today to keep that dream alive. After Ottawa, Calgary has five of their next six against Winnipeg, Edmonton and Toronto and that’s not exactly going be an easy stretch of games with your season on the line. The way things have gone this season against the Sens, Calgary could come out and win 7-3 or lose 7-3. And it’s a late afternoon game, so who knows what Flames team will show up at this point. All you need to know is if the Flames are really interested in making the playoffs and keeping this group together it has to start tomorrow in Ottawa. There’s a sentence you probably never thought would float through your head.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Markstrom (E): 12-9-2, 2.87 GAA, .903 SV%
Senators: Gustavsson (E): 1-0-1, 0.75 GAA, .977 SV%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (13), Points- Lindholm (28), PIM- Tkachuk (35), Save%- Rittich (.908)
Senators: Goals- Tkachuk (11), Points- Tkachuk (22), PIM: Gudbranson (47). Save%- Gustavsson (.977)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Ottawa Senators Coverage: Silver Seven Sens
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 1 - Ottawa Senators 2
Players To Watch
Milan Lucic (F): 3 points in last 5 games
Ryan Dzingel (F): 3 goals in last 4 games