Calgary Flames @ Montreal Canadiens, 4:00 PM MT, Bell Centre, Montreal QB
TV: ESPN+, SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (19-21-3, 41 pts) - Montreal Canadiens (18-13-9, 45 pts)
Break out your afternoon hockey beer pants because the Flames have an odd 4 PM MT start against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. Calgary is looking for their fourth win in a row and fourth in a row against the Habs in their first five meetings. Both teams appear to be doing everything in their power to change their current situation: Calgary make a push for the playoffs, Montreal surrender their lead and make things interesting.
Calgary’s winning streak has been fun to watch. They’re scoring, playing good defence and Jacob Markstrom is seemingly back to the brick wall he was at the beginning of this season. The bad news is it may all be happening too late in the season. Calgary is four points behind Montreal for the last playoff spot with 13 games remaining on their schedule. The problem for Calgary is Montreal has 16 games left due to a Covid shutdown and that gives them a slight advantage. We’re not going to be one of those rose colored glasses mouthpieces or an overly positive talking head. The Flames are going to miss the playoffs, it just becomes a matter of by how much? The Flames can do all they want to “try” and get in, but in reality it’s up to the Canadiens to make it interesting or a footnote.
A win for the Canadiens certainly sets the Flames back and could be a decisive blow. Montreal still has three games after this against the Flames, but a six point lead after tonight makes things pretty difficult for Calgary. Montreal hasn’t played well against the Flames this season, one of the few trams to struggle against the good guys. Montreal is 1-4-0 and has only scored seven goals in the five affairs with one game being a Flames shutout and then three times only scoring once.
Calgary’s road record (9-12-2) isn’t anything to write home about, but the Canadiens aren’t enjoying the home cooking. Montreal is only 9-9-2 at home and the Flames are only 5-5-0 in their last 10 trips to visit the Habs.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Markstrom (E): 15-14-2, 2.82 GAA, .903 SV%
Canadiens: Allen (C): 6-7-4, 2.53 GAA, .912 SV%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (15), Points- Lindholm (37), PIM- Tkachuk (41), Save%- Markstrom (.903)
Canadiens: Goals- Toffoli (19), Points- Toffoli (30), PIM: Chiarot (44). Save%- Allen (.912)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Montreal Canadiens Coverage: Habs Eyes On The Prize
Last Time Out
Players To Watch
Jacob Markstrom (G): 4-0-0 against Montreal this season
Paul Byron (F): 3 points in last 5 games