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The Biggest Series Of The Season Begins Tonight

The Flames can close the gap to two points over this three game series or see their season flushed down the toilet by losing.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Montreal Canadiens, 7:00 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

TV: SN - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames (19-23-3, 41 pts) - Montreal Canadiens (20-15-9, 49 pts)

NHL Standings

The Flames are about to embark on a three game homestand against the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary’s season will either live or die with this series. Calgary is currently eight points behind the fourth place Canadiens and a sweep keeps their playoff hopes on life support, but anything less than a sweep pretty much puts the nail in the proverbial coffin.

Montreal has played 44 games, the Flames 45. This pretty much levels the playing field as Montreal had three games in hand until Calgary’s schedule kept them off for most of the week and the Canadiens were able to make up some of their games that were postponed to due to Covid-19. In addition to closing the games played gap, Montreal hasn’t been playing well at all. They’ve dropped six of their last nine and if Calgary could have played semi-decent hockey (they’ve dropped six of nine as well), this might be an even tighter race and these games even MORE important.

Neither team has an easy run to close the season. Calgary has Edmonton (2), Ottawa (1), Winnipeg (1) and Vancouver (4) to round out 2021. Montreal closes out their up and down campaign with Toronto (4), Winnipeg (1), Ottawa (2) and Edmonton (2). But first and foremost they must get through this three game series. If the Canadiens sweep these three games it’s over for the Flames. A 14 point lead would be insurmountable to overcome. Now, I don’t think Montreal will take all three, but if they even take two of the three games they have a 12 point lead that scenario would spell doom for the Flames as well. So basically Calgary needs to take at least two of the three games to even think they have a chance. Is it possible? Maybe. The good news is the Flames are 4-2-0 against the Canadiens, which is one of two teams Calgary has a winning record against in the North Division, Vancouver is the other. One way or another you should know exactly where the Flames stand come Tuesday morning. Buckle up!

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Markstrom (E): 15-16-2, 2.80 GAA, .902 SV%

Canadiens: Allen (E): 8-8-4, 2.54 GAA, .912 SV%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (15), Points- Lindholm (39), PIM- Tkachuk (43), Save%- Markstrom (.902)

Canadiens: Goals- Toffoli (22), Points- Toffoli (33), 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

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Gaudreau (F): 6 points in last 5 games

Montreal Canadiens

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Drouin (F): 4 assists in 6 games against the Flames