The Calgary Flames (7-9-3) begin a gruelling nine-day stretch tonight with an American Thanksgiving Day matchup against the high-flying Dallas Stars (14-4-2). With five games scheduled in the next nine nights and held at two wins below a .500 points percentage following their 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday — the imperative will be to keep games tight and take points when they can until they reach December 3.
The last meetup between these two teams was one of bittersweet results for the Flames. Calgary took two one-goal leads before the 2:00 mark of the second period, only to have Dallas pick and pluck their way to a 4-2 lead by the end of the stanza. Calgary managed to pull the score within one on a MacKenzie Weegar power play goal but unfortunately could not manage to muster a tying marker as the period died out.
That November 1st game was the NHL debut of rookie forward Connor Zary. The 22-year-old hammered in a rebound in the first period for his first goal at the NHL level — on his first shot no less. Beleaguered veteran Center Nazem Kadri found chemistry with the newcomer and has since recorded 10 points in 10 games (two goals and eight assists). Zary, meanwhile, has three goals and five assists over that time.
UPDATE: Zary will return to the lineup tonight.
Fate turned during Monday’s 4-3 comeback win over the Seattle Kraken when the 24th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft played through two periods looking slow on his feet. The Saskatoon Sniper only played approximately 2:00 of the third period. Two days later, he was listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.
With their upstart offensive driver watching from the sidelines, the Flames will have to find a way to glean points from games against Dallas, Colorado, Vegas, the Stars again and Vancouver between today and December 2. To add to their woes, this streak casts off with a back-to-back.
Notes, thoughts and observations heading into tonight.
The Save of the Game against Seattle goes to #88, Linesman Tyson Baker who caught Flames Defenceman Dennis Gilbert’s head before it hit the ice at the conclusion of his fight with McCarron.
Gilbert missed time with a concussion after a preseason hit from Nils Hoglander led to him hitting his head on the boards.
Poile Gets a Banner
Former Flames Assistant General Manager David Poile had his name raised up to the rafters prior to Wednesday’s game. The Predators announced that the 73-year-old executive would be the first inductee to the GOLDen Hall of Fame. David spent three years in Atlanta before coming over with the organization to Calgary for two seasons.
Poile has been in the NHL for 51 years and has spent 25 of those years as General Manager of the Nashville Predators. He now works as a Senior Advisor to the team after handing off his role to longtime Preds Coach Barry Trotz.
The brewing rivalry between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars may have repercussions on Calgary’s chances of victory tonight. The two Western Conference Finalists from last postseason faced off on Wednesday for another tight-to-the-belt showdown.
Vegas has now taken both games after regulation. The first game seemed to rub the Stars the wrong way. They went on to rattle off three quick wins in five nights.
Calgary Flames Projected Lineup
Mangiapane – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Gilbert
Dallas Stars Projected Lineup
Benn — Hintz — Pavelski
Marchment — Duchene — Seguin
Robertson — Johnston — Dadonov
Steel — Faksa — Dellandrea
Suter — Heiskanen
Lindell — Hakanpää
Harley — Lundkvist
How to Watch
In Canada: Sportsnet
In the US: Bally Sports SW, ESPN+
Game time is 6:30 pm MST.