The Flames return from a season-long 10-day, five-game road trip that started with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 26 in the Heritage Classic in Regina, and finished up witha 4-2 trimming at the hands of the Capitals in D.C. Sunday night. The Flames finished the trip 2-2-1. Heading into their tilt with Ovie and Friends, the team had won two straight: the insane come-from-behind 6-5 OT thriller against the Predators on Halloween (Chucky's game-winner being the sickest treat of them all), and then blanking the Blue Jackets 3-0 in Columbus Saturday night, keeping the famous canon quiet. "Ya, that will be nice," said Cam Talbot, who made 28 saves in the loss to the Caps, on finally coming back to the friendly confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome. "We gotta make the 'Dome a tough building to come in and play and I think we've done a pretty good job of that so far, so it will be nice to be home in front of our fans and hopefully get some big wins before we head out back on the road." … Milan Lucic will serve the second and final game of his suspension tonight. Click here for more details … Tonight is our annual Hockey Fights Cancer night. Click here for all the details.
The Coyotes are off to a great start this season and are an impressive 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, their most recent outing a 3-2 overtime victory against the Oilers up in Edmonton. Michael Grabner and Connor McDavid both scored in the first with the game knotted at one after 20 minutes. In the second, Carl Soderberg scored and that lead held till the 15:19 mark of the third period when Gaetan Haas scored his first of the season to force eventual overtime. Derek Stepan gave the visitors the big two points when he scored 2:01 into extra time. "It's a heck of a play by Schmaltz," Stepan said after. "It starts in our own end, and he gets the puck, makes a nice move, and then he outskates guys. On the 2-on-1, he makes a nice pass over, and I'm able to find the back of the net." Arizona coach Rick Tocchet was pleased with the job his team did to contain the Oilers: "For the most part, in the neutral zone, I thought we did a nice job against them. When those guys wind it up, you have to make sure to stay above him. If you're not above him, like McDavid's goal, one of our guys should have been above him, and we got beat wide, and that's just the way he is, he's such a talented player." ... This Coyotes team can score goals, something they have struggled with in the past. Better yet, they are playing some stiffling defence and getting great goaltending.Their +11 goal differential is third best in the West (behind Vancouver at +19 and Nashville at +17). The Flames are at -2 right now.
3. US vs THEM
This is the first of four matchups this season between the two clubs. The Flames won three of the four matchups a season ago against the 'Yotes, outscoring them 18-to-6: winning 6-1 on the road on Nov. 25, 7-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 13, then 5-2 at the 'Dome on Feb. 18, before falling 2-0 in the desert on March 7 ... The Flames have a record of 2-3-1 against Pacific Division opponents this season and a record of 4-4-2 against the Western Conference.
THIS: Captain Mark Giordano loves playing the Desert Dogs. He had three goals and seven points in four games against them last year, adding to his stats en route to a Norris Trophy win ... THAT: Lindholm has extended his point-streak to seven games after notching his 10th goal of the season on Sunday. During this week-long point-streak, Lindholm has collected five goals and four assists for nine points. The 24-year-old also has 12 points in his last 12 games (8G, 4A) and a total of 15 points (10G, 5A) on the season. The Boden, Sweden native has 11 points (2G, 9A) in 12 career games against the Coyotes as he looks to extend his point-streak tonight … THE OTHER: Tkachuk skated in his 100th career NHL game on Nov. 30, 2017 against the Coyotes, becoming the second youngest player in Flames franchise history to reach the 100-game mark.
It would be easy to go with Lindholm or Tkachuk, both being on scoring tears of late. However, Mang notched an important tally against the Caps and is displaying a solid 200-foot game, notably showing off his instincts in the offensive zone skating with Chucky and Mikael Backlund on Sunday. He's a threat every shift to make something happen.
Coyotes: RW Conor Garland
He was held off the scoresheet in the win over the Oilers but has two goals in his last five games. He's scored in every second game for the last 12 tilts - that odd pattern says he's due.