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Flames Look To Avoid A Two Game Losing Skid With A Stop In Tampa

You know, because that’s an easy task.

NHL: FEB 29 Flames at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Calgary Flames @ Tampa Bay Lightning, 5 PM MT, Amalie Arena, Tampa FL

Calgary Flames 17-8-6 (40 pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 22-8-5 (49 pts)

TV: SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Odds: Calgary (-110) Tampa Bay (-110) O/U: 6

The Calgary Flames have ZERO time to feel sorry for themselves after the 6-2 beatdown they took in Sunrise FL on Tuesday at the hands of the Florida Panthers. Why? Because they have the best team in all of the NHL waiting for them at their next stop in the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Flames are in the middle of a very tough trek through the East and it’s been “meh” so far. They easily dispatched the Chicago Blackhawks (5-1) to kick off the trip, but the start of their trip through the Sunshine State hasn’t gone as planned. Calgary was manhandled by the Panthers by the score of 6-2 and the Flames looked like they weren’t ready for one of the top teams in the East. Well, they better be ready tonight because TB is better than Florida.

Despite winning only twice in their last five games, the Lightning are still the best team in the Eastern Conference. The recently snapped a two game losing skid with a 7-2 pummeling of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Much like the Panthers did to the Flames, TB had 13 different players with a point in the victory and the seven goal outburst was the 8th time they’ve scored more than five goals in a game on the season and 3rd time they’ve reached seven goals in a game.

Calgary was looking like they were getting lucky and going to miss the return of Nikita Kucherov, but that appears unlikely. Reports are he will be a game time decision tonight after missing almost all of this season so far. Steven Stamkos is also listed as a game time decision as well, but it would be hard to imagine the Lightning lacing them up tonight with both of their stars out of the lineup.

Who will be in the lineup and most likely between the pipes is Andrei Vasilevskiy. The TB keeper has been absolutely dominant at home, going 9-3-2 in 14 games and posting a 9.34 Save% at Amalie Arena. He leads the league in wins with 18 and is 6th overall in saves, having stopped 708 pucks on the season.

This will not be an easy test for the Flames and they’ll have to clean up their play if they want to get out of Tampa with at least a point. Calgary has dropped two straight at the Lightning’s home barn and six out of the last ten times they have visited.

Puck drop is at 5 PM MT.

Head To Head
Calgary Flames TB Lightning
17-8-6 Record 22-8-5
40 Points 49
3rd Pacific Division 1st Atlantic
98 GF 114
73 GA 100
Mangiapane (18) Goals Leader Stamkos (16)
Gaudreau (37) Points Leader Stamkos (40)
Lucic (33) PIM Maroon (54)
Vladar (.928) Save% Vasilevskiy (.924)
23.1 (10th) PP 20.2 (14th)
83.7 (6th) PK 79.6 (18th)
2-2-1 Last 5 2-2-1
19-26-1 Overall VS 26-19-1

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Calgary Flames: Markstrom (E): 12-7-5, 2.15 GA, .926 Save%

Tampa Bay Lightning: Vasilevskiy (E): 18-5-3, 2.21 GAA, .924 Save%

Injury Report

Calgary Flames: None

Tampa Bay Lightning: Zach Bogosian (Undisclosed/Day To Day), Steven Stamkos (Undisclosed/Day To Day), Gemel Smith (LBI/IR-NR), Ross Colton (Covid/Out)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Tampa Bay Lightning SB Nation Coverage: Raw Charge (@rawcharge)

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 2 - Florida Panthers 6

Tampa Bay Lightning 7 - Columbus Blue Jackets 2

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Johnny Gaudreau (F): 8 points in last 4 games

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Victor Hedman (D): 4 points in last 5 games

On The Struggle Bus

Calgary Flames

Sean Monahan (C): 2 goals in last 18 games

Tampa Bay Lightning

Anthony Cirelli (C): 1 goal in last 8 games