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game preview

Flames at Panthers preview

Calgary looks to gain in Pacific; Florida has lost six straight at home

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

FLAMES (33-26-7) at PANTHERS (33-25-7)

4 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-F, SNW, NHL.TV


The Game

The Florida Panthers will look to avoid their seventh straight loss at home when they host the Calgary Flames at BB&T Center on Sunday.

The Panthers, who are 0-5-1 in their past six games in Florida, including a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, are three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

The Flames have lost two in a row (0-1-1) and are coming off a 4-3 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Calgary leads the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes by one point for the first wild card from the Western Conference and is one point behind the Vancouver Canucks for third place in the Pacific Division.

Calgary defeated Florida 6-5 in a shootout at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 24.


Players to watch

Flames center Mikael Backlund has 11 points (five goals, six assists) during a six-game point streak.

Panthers forward Mike Hoffman has 10 points (six goals, four assists) during a seven-game point streak, including scoring in each of the past five.


They said it

"We've got to be ready for [today] now. Probably it's a good thing that we're going right back again right away as opposed to having some time in between. We're looking forward to the game (today). We've got to get ourselves ready for a start and make sure that we're dictating our game from the beginning a little better than we did (yesterday)." -- Flames coach Geoff Ward

"Get some rest and get up in the morning and get prepared in the right way. Four o'clock starts are interesting. We need to prepare for a dangerous team. Calgary has a lot of ability and talent. Everybody needs points in the worst way. We've got to find a way to win one here at home." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Andrew Mangiapane -- Mikael Backlund -- Matthew Tkachuk

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Tobias Rieder

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Rasmus Andersson

Derek Forbort -- Erik Gustafsson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich 

Scratched: Michael Stone, Zac Rinaldo, Oliver Kylington

Injured: Travis Hamonic (upper body)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Erik Haula -- Frank Vatrano

Aleksi Saarela -- Lucas Wallmark -- Brett Connolly

Colton Sceviour -- Noel Acciari -- Mark Pysyk

MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad

Riley Stillman -- Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle -- Mike Matheson

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: Josh Brown, Dominic Toninato

Injured: Chris Driedger (lower body), Brian Boyle (upper body)


Status report

Giordano played a team-high 23:21 against Tampa Bay on Saturday in his second game after missing the previous 10 because of a hamstring injury. … Bobrovsky, who made 27 saves against Chicago on Saturday, has started both games of a back-to-back four times this season. 


Stat pack

Lindholm needs one assist for 200 in the NHL. … Hoffman's goal streak is the longest active in the League. … Barkov has 155 goals, two shy of tying Scott Mellanby for second place in Panthers history.

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