ISLANDERS (30-22-11) VS. FLAMES (35-26-4)
BROADCAST: 2:00 p.m. MT; Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Flames (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)
SEASON SERIES: Sunday's matinee match-up will be the second and final time the two clubs meet in the regular season. The Flames fell 2-1 in overtime in the first game of the season series. Sean Monahan scored the lone goal and Brian Elliott made 25 saves in the setback. The loss came at the tail end of a six-game road trip which saw the Flames go 3-2-1. "I think those guys are battling for each other in that room ... They got off to a good start on this road trip and they wanted to finish it off on a good note. It's disappointing we didn't get two points, but they worked hard for each other," Glen Gulutzan said afterwards.
ISLANDERS' TEAM SCOPE: With 71 points on the year, the Islanders are in the midst of a heated Eastern Conference Wildcard battle with the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs (70 points), Florida Panthers (69 points), Tampa Bay Lightning (68 points), Philadelphia Flyers (68 points), and Buffalo Sabres (66 points). As of Saturday evening, the Islanders were in the second Wildcard spot thanks to picking up a point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. New York got a boost in their postseason push with the return of defenceman Travis Hamonic, who returned on Friday after missing 24 games due to injury. Earlier this month, the Islanders recalled 2014 first round pick Joshua Ho-Sang and the forward has since played two games with the club. In 48 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Ho-Sang has 10 goals and 36 points.
FLAMES' TEAM SCOPE: The Flames head into Sunday's tilt on a six-game winning streak after edging the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime on Friday. Mikael Backlund, who leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and 46 points, netted the game-winner at 3:56 of the extra frame. "A lot of belief, a lot of confidence and swagger with this group right now," Backlund said of his team's recent success. "We're playing some good hockey." The win gave them a six-point cushion on the LA Kings, who are sitting in the second Wildcard spot in the West. Elliott, Calgary's expected starter on Sunday, is 8-1-1 since Feb. 1 and has a 2.21 GAA and a .925 save percentage during that stretch.