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A NEW CHALLENGE

Glen Gulutzan has tasked his top line with going head-to-head against other top lines in the NHL

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

WASHINGTON - There's no doubting the Flames' top line's ability to generate offence.

Throughout their respective careers, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland have showcased their offensive skills and piled up the points.

However, now, their focus isn't only on offence.

A greater emphasis has been placed on their defensive-zone play.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Flames coaching staff has tossed them out against some of the best offensive players in the league and tasked them with shutting them down.

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FLAMES REWIND - 19.11.17

The Flames' offence has been running hot, led by Johnny Gaudreau's stellar play

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

The goals have arrived.

Throughout October, the Flames scored 27 goals: some of the fewest in the NHL. They were still winning games, but the puck was just refusing to go in the net.

Not so much the case now.

Just over halfway through November, the Flames are up to 29 goals already, one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL this month.

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FLAMES EXTRA - THE NUMBERS GAME

Analytics and advanced stats now play a huge role in hockey and the Flames are staying at the forefront

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

In the world of professional sports, results matter.

And the goal of every NHL team is to win the Stanley Cup.

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STANDING BEHIND TKACHUK

Treliving says he firmly supports his player and disagrees with one-game suspension

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Driving on Saturday afternoon from Toronto and a meeting of NHL general managers to Buffalo, N.Y., where he's skedded to start some scouting, Brad Treliving kept anxious tabs on his hockey team.

The GM was certainly ecstatic with the end result, a Sean Monahan-inspired, drama-soaked 5-4 Flames' comeback OT victory at the Wells Fargo Center against the Philadelphia Flyers.

What irked him, and continues to, was Matthew Tkachuk not being allowed to play any part.

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FLYIN' HIGH

Monahan scores hat-trick, Johnny has three points and Frolik scores OT winner in Philly

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

Hats off to Mony!

Sean Monahan scored his first career hat-trick, Johnny Gaudreau scored to extend his goal-scoring streak, and Michael Frolik tallied in overtime as the Flames beat the Flyers 5-4 In Philadelphia Saturday.

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PROJECTED LINEUP - FLAMES @ FLYERS

Calgary's projected lines, defence pairings and starting goalie for this morning's game

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

PHILADELPHIA - Here are today's projected lines, defence pairings and starting goaltender:

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TKACHUK SUSPENDED ONE GAME

League hands down punishment stemming from game against Detroit

by CALGARY FLAMES STAFF @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk has been suspended one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

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TIME TO REBOUND

Putting Wednesday's loss behind them, the Flames are focused on getting two points in Philadelphia

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

PHILADELPHIA - The devil is in the details.

In Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the Red Wings in Detroit, the Flames' failure to execute their gameplan led to the lopsided loss that kicked off their lengthy road trip.

But rather than dwelling on the negatives and letting that loss linger in their minds, the team is set on using that outing as way to get their game back in order.

"Things were going pretty well for us, we had won five of seven at home, but … we feel like we were a little loose defensively in a few of those wins at home," captain Mark Giordano acknowledged. "A game like that, we've got to tighten up. We've got to play for the 2-1, 3-2 games. That's our style. We have the guys in here to do it. Obviously we have a great team but we've got to tighten up. We can't be giving up goals and chances like we were the other night."

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FAST FACTS - FLAMES @ FLYERS

Notes ahead of today's Flames vs. Flyers match-up at the Wells Fargo Center

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

THE MATCH-UP

Saturday's game is the first of two between the Flames and Philadelphia Flyers this year. The clubs will wrap up their season series on Dec. 4 when the Flyers make a stop at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Last season, the Flames went 1-1-0 against Philadelphia with TJ Brodie, Matthew Tkachuk and Dougie Hamilton leading the way with three points each.

Jakub Voracek is leading the Flyers with 23 points 19 games. Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux trail him with 21 points each. In net, Brian Elliott has a 6-5-2 record with a 2.53 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

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MIKE'D UP

After a couple of days to recover, Smith ready to return to net for Flames

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

PHILADELPHIA - After 20 minutes, Mike Smith knew it was time to pack it in.

The netminder left Monday's match-up against the St. Louis Blues after the first period with an upper body injury, a malady that would keep him out of Wednesday's game in Detroit, as well.

"It got to the point in the game where … I didn't want it to effect the way I was playing or anything," Smith explained following Friday's skate at the Wells Fargo Center. "Fortunately we were able to get a big win (on Monday). Eddie came in and played well in relief. You never want to come out of a game, obviously, you never want to miss a game because of injury, but I just didn't want it to last longer than it needed to.

"It needed to happen and I feel better because of it now."

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