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Calgary's projected forward lines, D pairs and starting goaltender

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick /

David Rittich will get the start in goal tonight as the Flames open a three-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks (7:30 p.m. MT; Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet 960 THE FAN).

Rittich is coming off a 28-save effort on Friday, and is now 17-8-5 on the year, with a .916 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average.

The Flames held an optional morning skate, so we won't get confirmation of any lineup changes until closer to game time.

"We're going to talk about that in about 10 minutes when the guys get off the ice," said interim head coach Geoff Ward. "So, we'll know later on about that."

With 10 games in the next 21 days until the all-star break/bye week, the Flames - who have excellent depth at forward - have the luxury of inserting players every few days to keep the group fresh.

How that philosophy may impact tonight's lineup remains to be seen, but it will be a focal point for the Flames as they move into the second half of the season.

"Rest is important," Ward said. "It becomes more important as you move along in the schedule. For us, we can rely on the depth of our lineup a little bit. We've got an awful lot of guys that have played lately, and we'll use guys that are fresh and plug guys in and out of our lineup as we see fit. We've got a bunch of guys playing a lot right now, so we'll combat it that way."

The following forward line combinations and D pairs are for reference only, and are based on how the units were deployed at the start of Friday's 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers:



Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Mikael Backlund
Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Dillon Dube
Sam Bennett - Tobias Rieder - Michael Frolik



Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Oliver Kylington - Rasmus Andersson



David Rittich
Cam Talbot

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