Calgary Flames vs Carolina Hurricanes, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddldome, Calgary AB
Calgary Flames 3-1-0 (6 pts) - Carolina Hurricanes 3-1-0 (6 pts)
TV: SN, CITY - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Odds: Calgary (-120) - Carolina (-102) O/U: 6.5
Both the Flames and Hurricanes lost their first games of the season in their last contests and will be looking to get back into the win column Saturday night. Calgary dropped a 6-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres at home, while Carolina lost for the first time in Edmonton by the score of 6-4. Each team has an identical 3-1-0 record, but there are come concerning difference coming into tonight, mainly between the pipes.
It’s been a rough start for Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom this season, despite getting two of the Flames three victories. He’s been letting in a early (or two and sometimes soft) goal that puts the Flames at an immediate disadvantage. The Flames have been able to overcome those deficits at times, but the 6-3 loss to the Sabres showed that a strategy like that isn’t going to work every night. Markstrom was pulled from that game after the first period (3 goals on 12 shots) and looked terrible for the 20 minutes he was out there. None of this is to say there’s a goalie controversy in Calgary, but you may see a little more of Dan Vladar (even more than his once a week start) if Markstrom continues to struggle.
At the other end of the ice the Hurricanes are doing just fine. The duo of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta have only surrendered nine goals on the season (Calgary 14) and both keepers are in the top 15 in GAA and the top five in Save% so this will not be an easy task for the Flames. Add to the fact that Andrei Svechnikov is having a brilliant start to his season (6 goals and 8 points) and the Flames are going to have to be playing some of their best hockey to keep pace with one of the powerhouse teams in the East. And if they are able to shut down Svechnikov, Calgary is still going to have to deal with the likes of Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas, so they certainly will have their hands full tonight.
How do the Flames keep pace? Well, Noah Hanifin is still listed as Day to Day so the defence is going to have to get it together after a tough performance against Buffalo Thursday night. Calgary looked out of sync all game without Hanifin, showing the entire league just how valuable he is to the Flames blueline. The other thing that the Flames need is for their top line to getting going. Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli really haven’t shown much chemistry on the young season. Yes, it’s early, but the Flames need those three to get clicking so that their second line doesn’t have to carry the team nightly, as they’ve done so far. As for the Cane? Score early. If they can slip a few past Markstrom early it could make it difficult for Calgary to get back into this contest and that’s something this Flames group doesn’t need to go through again.
|Calgary Flames||Carolina Hurricanes|
|2nd Pacific||Division||3rd Metropolitan|
|31.3 (6th)||PP||26.7 (11th)|
|82.4 (13th)||PK||82.4 (14th)|
|Mangiapane (2)||Goals Leader||Svechnikov (6)|
|Kadri (5)||Points Leader||Svechnikov (8)|
|Zadorov (8)||PIM||Necas (6)|
|Vladar (.896)||Save%||Raanta (.947)|
Calgary: Markstrom (E)- 2-0-0, 3.43 GAA, .862 Sv%
Carolina: Andersen (E)- 2-1-0, 2.35 GAA, .920 Sv%
Calgary: Hanifin (Day to Day/Undisclosed), Kylington (IR/Personal)
Carolina: Pacioretty (IR-LT/Achillies), Gardiner (IR-LT/Hip), Kase (Day to Day/Concussion), Suzuki (IR-NR/UBI), Fitzgerald (IR-NR/Undisclosed)
@NHLFlames, @Canes, @matchsticksCGY, @CaneCountry, #Flames, #LetsGoCanes, #CGYvsCAR
View From The Other Bench
SBN Carolina Hurricanes Coverage: Canes Country
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 - Buffalo Sabres 6
Carolina Hurricanes 4 - Edmonton Oilers 6
Players To Watch
Rasmus Andersson (D): 4 points in 4 games this season
Martin Necas (F): 7 points in first 4 games this season