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Preview: Flames at Maple Leafs

Calgary reunites Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau; goalie Frederik Andersen starts for Toronto

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

FLAMES (24-22-3) at MAPLE LEAFS (21-14-9)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN4, SNW, NHL.TV


Flames team scope

Calgary Flames forwards Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will be reunited on a line with Alex Chiasson to begin a three-game road trip. "It's fun," Monahan said. "Obviously we've played together the last two years and we have chemistry there. When we're out there together and we're feeling it, it's a lot of fun so tonight's a big game. We both need to be at our best." Gaudreau will play in his 200th NHL game. "It's crazy," Gaudreau said. "My full third year here and it's crazy to hear that. I didn't even know about that." Goalie Brian Elliott will start. He replaced Chad Johnson and made 23 saves in a 7-3 loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. "I really liked his game when he came on in relief in the Saturday game," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "His previous game was [Jan. 14] in Edmonton in the 1-1 game that went to a shootout and I thought he was real good in that game so it's a good game for him to come in to tonight." The Flames are 1-3-1 in their past five games and will try to end a two-game losing streak. "That game in Edmonton stung and that's something that's in the past now," Monahan said. "This is a big game for us, a big trip."


Maple Leafs team scope

Goalie Frederik Andersen will make his fourth consecutive start when the Toronto Maple Leafs conclude a four-game homestand. Forward Mitchell Marner will face Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk for the second time in the NHL. The two were teammates with London of the Ontario Hockey League last season. "I know how he rolls but that definitely won't stop him I don't think (from trying to get under my skin)," Marner said. "He's a competitive guy, he plays the same game every night." The Maple Leafs are 9-2-2 in their past 13 games but do not have a regulation win in their past two. Toronto lost 3-0 in its previous game against Calgary on Nov. 30. "I think for us, it was just a lack of focus going into that game," forward Auston Matthews said. "We were playing back-to-back; mentally we weren't there, we didn't prepare the right way and it definitely cost us early. They scored a couple goals in the first five minutes and that put us back on our heels and we couldn't recover." 


Flames projected lineup

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Alex Chiasson

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Freddie Hamilton 

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Micheal Ferland, Jyrki Jokipakka 

Injured: Ladislav Smid (neck), Garnet Hathaway (upper body)


Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Matt Martin -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nikita Soshnikov

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Martin Marincin -- Nikita Zaitsev

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado

Injured: Morgan Rielly (lower body), Ben Smith (hand)


Status report

Hathaway remains day to day with an upper-body injury. ... Rielly skated on his own before the morning skate. He will not play but coach Mike Babcock did not rule out a return before the All Star break. "If he's ready to play, he'll play," Babcock said. ... Smith participated in the morning skate but is not ready to return. He has not played since injuring his hand in a 2-1 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 17.


Who's hot

Monahan has scored in each of his past five games (5-2-7). ... Frolik has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak. ... Hamilton has one goal and seven assists in his past eight games. ... van Riemsdyk has three goals and 11 assists during an 10-game point streak. ... Kadri has six goals and five assists in his past 10 games. ... Bozak has six goals and five assists in his past 10 games.

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