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PREVIEW - FLAMES @ HURRICANES

The Flames close out their road trip in Raleigh on Sunday

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (32-26-4) VS. HURRICANES (25-24-8)

BROADCAST: 1:00 PM MT; Sportsnet West (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)

SEASON SERIES: Sunday's matinee is the final match-up between the Flames and Carolina Hurricanes this year. In the opening tilt of the two-game season series, the Hurricanes picked a 4-2 win in Calgary on Oct. 20. Troy Brouwer and Johnny Gaudreau scored and Brian Elliott made 28 saves in the setback at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

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3M LINE LEADING THE WAY DURING RECENT RUN

Backlund, Tkachuk and Frolik have combined for 17 points in the last five games

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

With a 4-0-1 record in their last five games, the Flames are hitting their stride at the right time and piling up points as they push to solidify a postseason position.

After Friday's 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers, they moved into the first Wildcard spot in the Western Conference with 68 points and are now just six points back of the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers, who hold the second and third positions in the Pacific Division.

One of the biggest factors in their success? The 3M Line.

Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik, or the 3M Line as they have become known as on Twitter thanks to @FlamesNation, have combined for an impressive six goals and 17 points over the past five games and have put 35 shots on net during that stretch - the highest totals for any of the Flames' lines.

Dig a little deeper and their run becomes more striking.

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FUN IN THE SUN

Flames complete sweep in state of Florida with 4-2 win over Panthers

by AARON VICKERS @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

The Flames continue to roll on the road.
 
Chad Johnson made 36 saves and Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist to help Calgary to a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday.
 
"For us, I think we're just finding our game," Johnson said. "We want to be as consistent as possible. That's what it comes down to. We've had our highs and our lows. That's going to happen with a young group and a new coach. Now you're seeing that consistency and trust in our system. 
 
"I'm sure there will be some hiccups but I think we know how to regroup now and stay within our systems."
 
Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund and Deryk Engelland also scored while Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik each had two assists for the Flames, who have won three straight games and are 8-2-1 in the past 11 contests.

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INFERNO READY FOR PLAYOFFS

The Inferno will face the Toronto Flurries in the opening round of the 2017 Clarkson Cup Playoffs

by PAUL MAWDSLEY @pmawdsley23 / CalgaryFlames.com

The defence of the Clarkson Cup begins this weekend for the Calgary Inferno.

Their first obstacle: the Toronto Furies.

Calgary will host the Eastern foe beginning on Feb. 24 at Carstairs Memorial Arena instead of Joan Snyder Arena at WinSport as a way to build a relationship with the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League (RMFHL) and to promote the sport to more young women.

While it's not their usual home arena, the Inferno are still hoping to have that home-ice feeling with many fans following them north.

"We're actually playing in Carstairs. We've never played there before, so we kind of have home-ice advantage and hopefully lots of our fans come out to give us that support," said assistant captain Bailey Bram.

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QUOTABLES - FLAMES @ PANTHERS

A rundown from this morning's media availability in Sunrise

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

On facing the Panthers:

"They've got a couple of their younger guys back. I think Barkov and Huberdeau are both back so that provides a lot more skill on their team. A dynamic team as well, well-rounded. So we're going to have to have everybody doing what they do ... everyone is going to have a tough match-up tonight. Coming off a back-to-back, we're going to have to play a simple game. I thought we did a real good job through the neutral zone yesterday, slowing a very quick team down, and making sure we weren't taking too many chances with the puck. There's going to be turnovers over the course of the game but we limited those and tonight it's another team that likes to work off the rush. If can make them break out from their zone rather than transition through the neutral zone, it's going to benefit us." - Troy Brouwer

Glen Gulutzan on Chad Johnson getting the start:

"I think with the congestion of the games ... it sets up well. If I look back on our history and the way we've done things - New Jersey, Edmonton, played Ells' in Edmonton - it sets up well for Johnny."

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JOHNSON GETS THE START IN SUNRISE

The goaltender is set to make his 33rd start of the season when the Flames take on the Panthers

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

Ealier this year, Glen Gulutzan had been going with a 'win and you're in' strategy in net but with the team playing a handful of games over a short period of time, he'll be giving Brian Elliott the night off this evening in Sunrise.

Chad Johnson will get his 33rd start of the year when the Flames take on the Florida Panthers at 5:30 PM MT (SNW, SN960) and is looking forward to getting the opportunity to help his team push to extend their winning streak.

"The team's kind of a on a little bit of a roll here and for myself, I'm excited to get back in there and keep things going."

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PROJECTED LINEUP - FLAMES @ PANTHERS

Tonight's projected lines, defence pairings and starting goaltender

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

Glen Gulutzan has confirmed that Chad Johnson will get the start tonight in Sunrise, FL but isn't sure if he make any other changes ahead of this evening's match-up.

"We're going to see here. Some guys are just getting off the ice so we wanted to see how everybody was in the morning before we decided. We may have one change, we may not, in our lineup."

In last night's win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, forward Freddie Hamilton and defencemen Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka sat as healthy scratches.

Based on last night's lineup and this morning's media availability, here is tonight's projected lineup:

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FAST FACTS - FLAMES @ PANTHERS

Notes ahead of tonight's Flames vs. Panthers match-up at the BB&T Center

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

SHOWDOWN IN SUNRISE

Tonight's game is the second and final meeting between the Flames and Florida Panthers this year. The Flames took the opening match-up by a score of 5-2 back on Jan. 17 in Calgary. Mikael Backlund (2), Mark Giordano, Kris Versteeg, and Sean Monahan scored in the victory. 

In their last 10 games against the Panthers, the Flames have a 6-3-1 record and have won their last two games against Florida. The Flames have also won five of the last seven meetings.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. FLORIDA

Sam Bennett had the first four-goal game of his career against the Panthers on Jan. 13, 2016.

Lance Bouma recorded his only three-point game in the league with a trio of assists on Jan. 9, 2015 against Florida. 

TJ Brodie's lone multi-goal game came against the Panthers on Jan. 9, 2015.

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PREVIEW - FLAMES @ PANTHERS

The Flames are back in action tonight, taking on the Panthers in Sunrise

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (31-26-4) VS. PANTHERS (28-21-10)

BROADCAST: 5:30 PM MT; Sportsnet West (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)

SEASON SERIES: Tonight's game is the final time the Flames and Florida Panthers will meet in the 2016-17 regular season. The Flames took the opening match-up in the two-game season set by a score of 5-2 back on Jan. 17 in Calgary. Mikael Backlund (2), Mark Giordano, Kris Versteeg and Sean Monahan scored and Chad Johnson made 20 saves in the victory. "I liked our resolve," Glen Gulutzan said in his post-game media address. "We made a couple mistakes early that cost us some chances, but we stuck to our game and for the most part of the game we had the better looks, the better chances and we were carrying the play."

 

 

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FLAMES RED HOT

by AARON VICKERS @aavickers / calgaryflames.com

TAMPA BAY - Sean Monahan is the fastest Flame to 100.

Monahan scored his 100th NHL goal, and Brian Elliott made 23 saves to help Calgary to a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

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