After a full nine days to rest and recuperate, the Calgary Flames will return to action on Tuesday night to face off against the perennially-contending Boston Bruins.
Kicking off a four-game road trip that begins in Massachusetts before touring New York State and New Jersey, the Flames will have their hands full over the next six nights. The Bruins, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils all have a winning percentage above .500. Boston and New York lead their respective divisions and serve as the start and finish to their trip. Sandwiched between them are the Islanders and Devils – two teams starving for wins and capable of far more than their records indicate. Here is your game day preview!
Calgary Flames (22-22-5, 49 pts) vs Boston Bruins (31-9-9, 71 pts)
Last Ten: Calgary (5-5-0) Boston (7-1-2)
Time: 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
TV: Sportsnet One, Sportsnet West, NESN, ESPN+
Elephant in the Room
While it may be long in the past, fans may remember Calgary’s last game – a 1-0 home win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom stole the game with a series of breakaway saves, and close friend of Markstrom, Elias Lindholm, managed to pot the game winner in a lucky scramble in front of Chicago goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Lindholm has since been traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Russian winger Andrei Kuzmenko and a package of futures. Tonight marks game one of the Post-Lindholm Era.
The Flames lose their leading minute muncher and get back the mercurial Andrei Kuzmenko, who is having a down year compared to last season’s 39-goal, 74-point campaign.
With a mere eight goals and 21 points in 43 games this season, Kuzmenko will be eager to prove himself. Head coach Ryan Huska has him deploying with Jonathan Huberdeau and Yegor Sharangovich at 5v5. The silky-mitted sniper will also deploy in a net-front role on one of the powerplay units.
Presence on the Ice
Andrei won’t be the only addition to the Flames roster. Estevan, Saskatchewan product Brayden Pachal was claimed off waivers on Sunday after being waived by divisional rival Vegas. The 6-foot-2 defenceman brings a much-needed physical presence to the lineup. Pachal will have Oliver Kylington as a defence partner.
Calgary Flames Projected Lineup
Boston Bruins Projected Lineup
Courtesy of Jimmy Murphy. Head over to Boston Hockey Now for a game day preview of the Bruins.
Brad Marchand-Charlie Coyle-David Pastrnak
James van Riemsdyk-Pavel Zacha-Jake DeBrusk
Jakub Lauko-Morgan Geekie-Trent Frederic
Danton Heinen-Jesper Boqvist-Oskar Steen
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Kevin Shattenkirk
Referees: Brian Pochmara, Wes McCauley
Linesmen: Kyle Flemington, Matt MacPherson