The Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes will meet tonight in Game 2 of their Best-of-3 first round series in our NHL20 simulated playoffs. The Coyotes took the series opener in Calgary by a score of 3-2, thanks to two goals from Phil Kessel, including the game winner with just under seven minutes to play in the third period.
The Flames are facing first round elimination yet again, and the odds definitely aren’t in their favour heading into this game, as they haven’t won to avoid elimination since 2007-08. The Flames have also won a total of just three playoff games on the road since the 2004 Stanley Cup run (3/23). They won three road games in just the third round of 2004 alone.
David Rittich is getting the start in Game 2after Cam Talbot was quite average in Game 1, but let in a late goal from long range that ended up winning the game. This will be Rittich’s first career playoff game in the NHL. The Flames are hoping that Rittich’s road success over his career will carry over to the playoffs.
Andrew Mangiapane led the way in Game 1 for Calgary, scoring both of their goals. They will need other guys to get going to have a chance to save their season. That’s easier said than done against a Coyotes group known for their relentless shutdown play, and Darcy Kuemper who was solid in Game 1.
Mark Jankowski will come back in for the Flames tonight with Tobias Rieder coming out of the lineup. He will center the fourth line with Milan Lucic and Austin Czarnik.
Here are the projected lines for tonight’s game, puck drop is at 7:30 PM MT.
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Andrew Mangiapane
Dillon Dube – Derek Ryan – Sam Bennett
Milan Lucic – Mark Jankowski – Austin Czarnik
Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Erik Gustafsson – Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin – Travis Hamonic
Taylor Hall – Christian Dvorak – Clayton Keller
Carl Soderberg – Nick Schmaltz – Conor Garland
Lawson Crouse – Derek Stepan – Phil Kessel
Michael Grabner – Brad Richardson – Vinnie Hinostroza
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Ilya Lyubushkin
Alex Goligoski – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Jakob Chychrun – Jason Demers
Other NHL Games Tonight
6. Carolina Hurricanes at 11. New York Rangers (NYR leads 1-0)
7. New York Islanders at 10. Florida Panthers (FLA leads 1-0)
5. Edmonton Oilers at 12. Chicago Blackhawks (CHI leads 1-0)
by Gordie Taylor