PANTHERS (20-17-8) at FLAMES (23-20-3)
9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-F, NHL.TV
Panthers team scope
Forward Greg McKegg will return to the lineup when the Florida Panthers open a four-game Western Conference road trip at the Calgary Flames. McKegg has missed the past four games because of an upper-body injury. "It's definitely nice to be back in," McKegg said. "Anytime you're out it's definitely a little frustrating, but now I'm healthy and hopefully I'll have a good one tonight." McKegg's return comes with Florida on an upswing. The Panthers have won three of their past four games overall and four in a row on the road. "I feel like we're just keeping it more simple," forward Jared McCann said. "We know that being at home is a huge advantage, but we're just trying to play simple hockey and it's working so far." The Panthers are two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They are tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators for third in the Atlantic Division at 48 points. However, Florida has played four more games than Toronto and Ottawa. "I think we just have to carry momentum," McKegg said. "We've won three of our last four. The team is playing well and everyone is chipping in. We've got to keep that rolling."
Flames team scope
Forward Micheal Ferland will be a game-time decision for Calgary. He has missed the past two games because of a lower-body injury sustained against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. "I'll see how he was after the skate and talk to our guys and talk to our docs and they'll make a decision," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "But he's very close, obviously. We'll make that decision with our group." Ferland has five goals, 11 points and a team-high 87 hits, in 44 games. "I think you always have that chance of injury just from playing that type of style," Ferland said. "There was no point to try and push it and play through it. It's good to take the time that I took and let it heal." Calgary is opening a three-game homestand with six games remaining before the NHL All-Star break. The Flames are 2-3-1 in the past six games, including back-to-back losses (0-1-1), but still holds the first wild card from the Western Conference. "Everybody knows where we are," goaltender Chad Johnson said. "I don't think guys are totally zoned in on that, because you just have to play as hard as you possibly can, as best you possibly can. For us, I think everyone's aware of where we are but it's not a main focal point."
Panthers projected lineup
Jared McCann -- Vincent Trocheck -- Jaromir Jagr
Jonathan Marchessault -- Jussi Jokinen -- Reilly Smith
Derek MacKenzie -- Michael Sgarbossa -- Colton Sceviour
Paul Thompson -- Greg McKegg -- Shawn Thornton
Keith Yandle -- Mark Pysyk
Michael Matheson -- Jason Demers
Jakub Kindl -- Aaron Ekblad
Scratched : Dylan McIlrath, Seth Griffith, Denis Malgin
Injured : Aleksander Barkov (undisclosed), Jonathan Huberdeau (lower leg), Alex Petrovic (ankle), Nick Bjugstad (lower body)
Flames projected lineup
Kris Versteeg -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer
Johnny Gaudreau -- Sam Bennett -- Alex Chiasson
Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik
Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Micheal Ferland
Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton
TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman
Jyrki Jokipakka -- Deryk Engelland
Scratched: Brett Kulak, Freddie Hamilton
Injured: Garnet Hathaway (upper body)
Florida recalled McIlrath from his conditioning assignment with Springfield of the American Hockey League on Monday. Freddie Hamilton will dress if Ferland isn't ready to return. … Johnson is making his fifth start in the past six games.
Trocheck has three goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. Yandle has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past four games. … Dougie Hamilton has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak.