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5 THINGS - FLAMES vs. AVALANCHE

Flames look to snap out of funk and get win over Colorado before heading out for four-game road swing

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (10-10-3: 23 pts.) vs. AVS (12-6-2: 26 pts.)

7 p.m. | TV: Sportsnet | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

 

Video: Brendan Parker sets up tonight's game

 

2019-20 season series: 0-1-0-0

2018-19 season series: 3-0-0-0 (1-4 in the post-season)

All-time regular-season record: 78-59-20-8

Flames home record: 6-2-2

Avalanche road record: 6-4-1

 

Special Teams:

Flames powerplay: 17.3% (19th)

Flames penalty-kill: 85.5% (6th)

 

Avalanche powerplay: 19% (17th)

Avalanche penalty-kill: 77.8% (20th)

 

Current Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Matthew Tkachuk (20)

Goals - Tkachuk + Elias Lindholm (10)

Avalanche:

Points - Nathan MacKinnon (29)

Goals - MacKinnon (13)

 

1. US

The Flames dropped a pair of back-to-back tilts on the weekend, falling 3-0 to the Coyotes in Glendale on Saturday and 6-0 to the Golden Knights in Sin City on Sunday. Cam Talbot made 31 saves in the loss in Vegas, a city in which the Flames are yet to record a victory. The visitors did record 34 shots on goal in the loss.

"It's getting pretty old," said Tkachuk after the loss. "It's not that our starts have been horrible, but we can't get this lead. Then we trail, they press, and put a six-spot up on us when it was a pretty tight game until the third period.

"I don't know what happened, but we let them run away with it. We've hung our goalie out to dry countless times and it's getting old.

"It's disgusting. It's bad, it's bad right now. We need to (turn) this around. Maybe going home for one game can do that, spark us going into that road trip, but something's got to change here and we have to get back to being the old us. Because this isn't fun right now."

Coach Bill Peters also spoke highly of his goaltender's effort.

"It's hard to get it to go (offensively) in right now," he said. "Some big saves, obviously. But our guy was good, too. Our guy was good when the game was on the line."

He added: "I thought we battled through 40, and had a tough one in the final 20."

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: The #Flames have recalled forward Zac Rinaldo from the @AHLHeat. https://t.co/Ax6dAiDBqV

 

2. THEM

The Avs have won four of their last five, starting with a 9-4 schellacking of the Preds at home on Nov. 7, followed by a 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets, also at the Pepsi Center, on Nov. 9. They then started off this current five-game road swing (which wraps up Nov. 21 in Minny aganst the Wild) with a 4-0 win over the Jets, 6-2 loss to the Oilers, and 5-4 overtime victory against the Canucks. In that most recent outing, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare opened the scoring but Adam Gaudette answered back in the first. MacKinnon and Nazem Kadri made it 3-1 but Gaudette tallied his second to narrow the gap. Andrew Burakovsky made it 4-1 but Alex Edler at 17:23 and then Brock Boeser - with exactly 60 seconds left to play - tied it up to force overtime. MacKinnon wasted little time, scoring just 27 seconds into extra time. "It just didn't feel like it should have been an overtime game," he said. "I just wanted to end it as quick as possible. I wanted to end it first shift and I'm glad I did." ... Calgary kid Cale Makar is the early-season Calder Trophy favourite of many folks, impressing with play and poise beyond his years. The defenceman picked up four helpers in the win over Vancouver and has 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) through 20 games. "Such a gifted player. I said before this season I thought he was going to get 70 (points)," said MacKinnon "I might have to up that a little the way he's playing."

 

Video: "They'll be hungry tonight"

 

3. US vs. THEM

This is the second of three matchups this season between the Flames and Avs. The Flames lost in their first meeting on opening night 5-3 at the Pepsi Center. Joonas Donskoi opened the scoring at the 5:59 mark but Sean Monahan would answer back at 8:33, the assist to Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau . Mikko Rantanen would add another in the opening frame to give Colorado the lead after 20 minutes. Gaudreau knotted things up again just 1:50 into the second period (Monahan and Tkachuk with the helpers) before J.T. Compher and Rantanen doubled the lead. Mark Giordano would make ti a 4-3 game before the end of 40 minutes. Pressing late for the equalizer late in the third period, Donskoi was able to chip the puck out of his zone and skate itup to score an empty-netter to salt it away ... The Flames have a record of 5-7-3 against Western Conference opponents, and are 2-2-2 against the Central Division.

 

Video: CGY Recap: Gaudreau, Monahan score in loss to Avs

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: The Flames will play on home ice tonight for one game before heading back on the road for a four-game trip. Calgary has a record of 6-2-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome this season with points in four of their last five games. Tkachuk leads the way for the Flames at the 'Dome with seven goals and 11 points and sits at a +5. Giordano leads defenceman with three goals and 10 points. Derek Ryan leads all Flames in plus/minus at home as he sits with a +6 ... THAT: The Flames have won five-straight regular-season home games against the Avalanche dating back to Jan. 4, 2017. The Flames are also 8-2-0 in their last 10 regular-season home games against Colorado dating back to March 27, 2013 … THE OTHER: The Flames will embark on a four-game road trip following tonight's tilt. Calgary will first travel to St. Louis before stopping in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. The Flames next home game following tonight will be Nov. 30 when they host the Ottawa Senators at the Scotiabank Saddledome (click here for tickets). Including tonight, the Flames have eight more home games before the Christmas break.

 

Video: "I literally play every shift like it's my last."

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames: C Mikael Backlund

Tied with Giordano for a team-high four shots against the Golden Knights.
 

Avalanche: D Cale Makar

See above. The local product has been putting on a show since the start of the year. 

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