Sunday night's 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks was probably the Calgary Flames' (14-12-6) best road game of the year.
Tuesday's opponent offers an opportunity to continue the momentum. Game two of a four-game roadie comes against … the San Jose Sharks (10-17-6).
Yep, no post-game flight. A full practice on Monday. And what should be some confidence after a stellar start to the third period pushed the Flames past the Men in Teal in their last outing.
Elias Lindholm scored twice in the first 35 seconds of the final frame. But the team got goals from fellow top-liners Tyler Toffoli and Dillon Dube as well. Milan Lucic scored his first of the year. It was the sort of foot-on-the-gas finish they've been looking for all season away from the Saddledome.
"Obviously we just played each other and and it's fresh in our minds still," Calgary Flames defenceman Rasmus Andersson told Flames TV after the morning skate on Tuesday. "You have time to go through their lineup and their players and that kind of stuff, and they probably do the same with us. "Just clean a little bit up and start the game we finished."
This road trip is important if the Flames are going to achieve their goal of a playoff spot for Christmas.
"It's huge. It kind of shows where the teams are at. Because I know after Christmas, games get really tight and points mean a lot," defenceman MacKenzie Weegar said on Monday.
Defenceman Dennis Gilbert played the last game in an 11/7 setup with Darryl Sutter trying to keep some of the minutes down for the top defenders. But Gilbert was hurt in a scrap with Jonah Gadjovich and is on IR now. Chris Tanev could draw back in, and Nikita Zadorov looks like he may not miss time after a shot block in the dying seconds against the Sharks.
That means Michael Stone or Connor Mackey could sit, along with insurance guy Nick DeSimone – who was called up Tuesday. Brett Ritchie and Matthew Phillips may both sit if the coach goes with an extra defenceman again.
Calgary Flames projected lineup*
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Kadri – Lucic
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Ruzicka – Lewis –
Extra: Ritchie, Phillips, Zohorna
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
*projecting 11/7 lineup
San Jose Sharks projected lineup
Meier – Bonino – Labanc
Nieto – Couture – Barabanov
Gregor – Sturm – Svechnikov
Lindblom – Lorentz – Gadjovich
Harrington – Karlsson
Vlasic – Benning
Ferraro – Simek