FLAMES (9-12-1) VS. BRUINS (11-9-0)
BROADCAST: 5:30 PM MT; Sportsnet West (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)
SEASON SERIES: Friday's game is the opening skate in a two-game season series between the Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. The series concludes on Mar. 15, 2017 when the Bruins make a stop at the Scotiabank Saddledome. In their two-game 2015-16 series, the Flames had a 1-1-0 record against the Bruins. Calgary picked up a 5-4 overtime win on home ice on Dec. 4, 2015 with Johnny Gaudreau scoring the game-winner. Gaudreau led all skaters in the 2015-16 set with three goals and four points in two games against the Bruins.
FLAMES TEAM SCOPE: The Flames are coming off a 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday at Nationwide Arena. Goaltender Chad Johnson made 34 saves in the victory, pushing his team to a 2-1-0 record three games into their six-game road swing. Johnson has a 6-3-1 record in his first 10 games with the Flames and has posted a 2.08 GAA and a .922 save percentage. "He's earned some time to play here," head coach Glen Gulutzan said when asked about his goaltending tandem of Johnson and Brian Elliott. "That's a good thing. I like it more of a competition ... these are the most competitive athletes you can get. It's good to have a little competition. But Johnny's earned, with his good play, some starts." Forward Kris Versteeg returned to the lineup on Wednesday after missing nine games with a groin strain but left practice early on Thursday. His status for Friday's game is unknown. Versteeg picked up an assist in the win over the Blue Jackets, setting up Troy Brouwer's game-winning goal.
BRUINS TEAM SCOPE: With an 11-9-0 record and 22 points on the year, the Bruins are one point out of a Wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. David Pastnak scored the Bruins' lone goal in the setback while goaltender Tuukka Rask made 23 saves on 26 shots. Brad Marchand leads the Bruins in scoring with six goals and 19 points in 20 contests. Pastnak leads the team in goals with 11. He's second in scoring with 15 points in 15 skates.