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5 THINGS - FLAMES @ GOLDEN KNIGHTS

The Flames continue a three-game road trip with a stop in Sin City

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (2-1-1) at GOLDEN KNIGHTS (2-2-0)

8:00 p.m. MT | TV: Sportsnet One/City | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

 

2018-19 Season Series: 2-2-0

All-Time Head-to-Head: 3-5-0

Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Johnny Gaudreau (6)
Goals - Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin (2)

Golden Knights:

Points - Mark Stone (6)
Goals - Reilly Smith (3)

Advanced Stats:

Flames:

Shot Attempts: 48.90% (19th)
High-Danger Chances: 48.15% (19th)

Golden Knights:

Shot Attempts: 50.45% (14th)
High-Danger Chances: 60.34% (4th)

 


1. US

The Flames are at the halfway point of a three-game road trip, which kicked off Thursday with a 3-2, come-from-behind shootout victory over the Dallas Stars.

Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin had third-period goals for the Flames, who surrendered the first two tallies of the game and had to play catch-up. Johnny Gaudreau scored the shootout winner, while David Rittich stopped two of the three snipers he faced in the breakaway competition - this, after making a gargantuan stop off Alexander Radulov, who was awarded a penalty shot late in 3-on-3 overtime.

Rittich stopped 34 shots in all to secure the victory. The win snapped a nine-game skid in the shootout, with Calgary's last triumph coming back on Nov. 5, 2017.

"We know we can score," captain Mark Giordano said of the comeback. "I think, in the second, we got in trouble because we were turning over the puck and it felt like they were playing a half-court game against us. But it was really just about managing the puck well, and once we started doing that..."

With the two points on board, there was no rest for the wicked.

Despite a three-hour flight and a 1:45 a.m. arrival into Sin City (3:45 a.m. Dallas time), the Flames were back on the ice and right back to work Friday as they hit the sheet for a brisk 45-minute-long practice at City National Arena in Summerlin, Nevada.

The powerplay was the focus of the day, with no indication as to whether or not there will be any lineup changes.

The starting goaltender has yet to be confirmed.

The Flames are hoping their luck turns in Vegas' home barn - a building they've yet to win at, dropping the four previous in front of the boisterous home crowd.

"It's loud," Matthew Tkachuk said of the vibe at T-Mobile Arena. "It's a playoff atmosphere every time we're here, even in the regular season. They seem to really feed (off that), so we've got to limit the chances, limit the momentum swings and give a good, hard 60 minutes, if not more."

 

2. THEM

The Knights are coming off a 4-1 road loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, and have now lost two straight after opening the season with a pair of wins over the San Jose Sharks.

Shea Theodore had Vegas' lone goal, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 13 of 15 shots in relief.

Malcolm Subban got the start, but left after the first period with a lower-body injury. The netminder remains day-to-day, and the Knights will recall another puck-stopper to back up Fleury this evening.

The Knights are a banged-up group, with Cody Eakin, Alex Tuch, Nate Schmidt and now Subban, all out due to injury.

The Knights are largely the same team this year, but with one, wildly exciting addition having arrived as advertised. Rookie centreman Cody Glass has points in three of his first four games, and is averaging more than 15 minutes of ice time early in his NHL career.

"I love his work ethic," Knights coach Gerard Gallant said Friday. "When we drafted him a couple years ago, he was a skinny kid. He's still a skinny kid, but he's getting stronger, he's playing harder and he's trying to play a 200-foot game. I really like what he's brought to us. His development over the last couple years is really good. You like those talented, skilled kids with good hockey IQ, but I really like his work ethic. I know he's got the skill, the talent's all there, but I really like the way he competes.

"He's still a young kid, but he's getting better every day.

The No. 6 pick in the 2017 Draft scored in his league debut and is currently centering the third line with Brandon Pirri and Valentin Zykov.

 

3. US VS. THEM

This is the first of four meetings between these two teams, and the first of a pair to be held in Vegas over the next month. Last year, the Flames earned a split with their Pacific counterparts, winning twice at the Scotiabank Saddledome, but losing both at T-Mobile Arena.

The Flames outscored the Knights 14-5 in the four-game set, with Matthew Tkachuk going off, recording five goals and nine points to lead all skaters in head-to-head scoring.

Four others - Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund , Johnny Gaudreau and Michael Frolik - were all point-per-game players in the season series as well.

Following tonight's game, the Flames and Knights will hook up once again on desert ice on Nov. 11, before the scene shifts to Calgary for the final two, Mar. 8 and Apr. 2, 2020.

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: The Flames are entering their first back-to-back situation this year, as they will take on the San Jose Sharks on Sunday to finish up a three-game trip. The group posted a record of 9-1-0 in the first game of a back-to-back situation last year; they were 5-5-0 in the back half. ... THAT: Recording an assist in Thursday's win over the Stars, Mikael Backlund moved into a tie for seventh in road points (143) as a centre in Flames franchise history. Backlund is tied with Daymond Langkow and trails Craig Conroy by three points. ... THE OTHER: Vegas forward Mark Stone is the younger brother of Flames defenceman Michael Stone .

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames - Noah Hanifin

With goals in back-to-back games, Hanifin is off to a strong start offensively. The 22-year-old is currently on pace to shatter the five he scored with the Flames last year, as well as the career-high 10 he had during the 2017-18 campaign as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. The Boston native enters the contest averaging 21:49 in ice time this season.

Golden Knights - Mark Stone

Stone has picked up where he left off last year, scoring six points (2G, 4A) in the first four games. He'll line up on right wing with Paul Stastny in the middle and Max Pacioretty on his opposite flank.

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