Tonight, at the Saddledome, the Flames will take on the Rangers in hopes of starting a new win streak. Calgary has won three of their last five games, but the wins have been relatively easy considering the lower-standing teams that they’ve taken on.
Tonight, however, the Rangers, who sit in 11th place in the standings with 86 points, will be a tougher competitor. New York has won five in a row, including a shutout against the New Jersey Devils.
Karri Ramo will have to keep his momentum going if he’s hoping to defend the net against offensive players like Carl Hagelin (1 goal, 3 assists in 5 games), Rick Nash (3 goals in 5 games), and Dan Girardi (1 goal, 2 assists in 5 games).
On the other side of the ice, Henrik Lundqvist has a save percentage of .919 and GAA of 2.41 overall this season so far. The Flames offensive lines will need to take more chances on net if they’re hoping to win against the recent streak the Rangers have going and the defensive wall known as King Henrik.
The projected lines look a little different, with Kenny Agostino back in the third line with Sean Monahan and Joe Colborne, while Ben Hanowski seems to be left off the game day lineup again. Curtis Glencross, Matt Stajan, and Jiri Hudler will man the first line, while Mike Cammalleri, Mikael Backlund, and Paul Byron will probably be where the Flames potential goals will come from. Kevin Westgarth, Lance Bouma, and Brian McGrattan round out the offensive push and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them getting a lot of ice time considering the effort they have put into the games recently.
On the defensive end, not much has changed with Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie paired together as always while Kris Russell and Chris Butler will also be on the blue line together. Ladislav Smid is paired up with rookie Tyler Wotherspoon, the newest d-man on the Flames who has been doing an outstanding job of passing to create chances for his offensive teammates.
It’s not impossible for the Flames to win this game against the Rangers tonight, but they will have to dig deep and keep up the pressure that they are known for in the dying seconds of each game. A full 60 minutes of pressure is needed to win against New York tonight.
Go Flames Go!