FLAMES (29-26-3) VS. CANUCKS (25-27-6)
BROADCAST: 8:00 PM MT; CBC, Sportsnet (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)
SEASON SERIES: Saturday's game is the fifth and final meeting between the Flames and the Canucks this season. The Flames are 2-1-1 against their divisional foes this year and have outscored Vancouver 10-8 in the first four games of the season series. Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund lead the Flames with five points each against the Canucks. Matthew Tkachuk, Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton trail them with three points in this year's series against Vancouver.
FLAMES' TEAM SCOPE: Calgary is coming off of a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. Brian Elliott was named the game's first star after making 33 saves in the victory. He is expected to get the start in Vancouver on Saturday night. With Wednesday's win, the Flames have moved back into a playoff spot, leaping ahead of the LA Kings to claim the second Wildcard spot in the Western Conference. A victory over the Canucks would push them past the idle Nashville Predators for the first Wildcard position. "There's no moral victories anymore," Troy Brouwer said this week. "There's just victories. The two games coming out of the break haven't been our best but we were able to get points last night and put ourselves back in a playoff spot. That's what we're focused on right now. We need to keep progressing our game, keep evolving our game."
CANUCKS' TEAM SCOPE: With 56 points on the year, the Canucks are five points out of a Wildcard spot and sit 11th overall in the Western Conference. They have had a tough run as of late, going 3-7-0 in their last 10 games and are coming off of a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who made 17 saves, shouldered the blame after the loss. "The players on this team played an unreal road game and I was awful," Markstrom told NHL.com. "Bad luck or good luck or whatever, it just can't happen. We can't afford that right now. We played a great game, scored three goals, and coming into the third … two quick goals like that, that can't happen. It was awful today." The Canucks will be without the services of Derek Dorsett (shoulder), Erik Gudbranson (wrist) and Anton Rodin (knee). Sven Baertschi (concussion) is day-to-day.