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Sharks at Flames preview

Calgary goes for 10th win in 12 games; San Jose seeks fourth straight victory

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

SHARKS (31-16-7) at FLAMES (34-14-5)



The Game

The Calgary Flames will try for their 10th win in 12 games when they play the San Jose Sharks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

The Flames, who are first in the Pacific Division and Western Conference with 73 points, are 9-1-1 in their past 11 games and have scored at least four goals in seven of their past 10. Calgary is also 6-0-2 in its past eight home games.

The Sharks, second in the Pacific with 69 points, are on a three-game winning streak after losing three in a row and 17-5-2 in their past 24 games. San Jose has allowed six goals in four of its past six games.


Players to watch

Sharks forward Joe Pavelski has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak and is one assist from 400 in the NHL. 

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in his past 18 games.


They said it

"This time of year, this is the time where you start to look at the standings on a somewhat of a daily basis and see how far the teams are ahead of you and how close teams behind you are. We know these guys are up on us and we're going to try and catch them." -- Sharks forward Logan Couture

"They're four points behind us coming into tonight's game and we're trying to make it a bigger gap and they're saying they can make it a smaller gap. We want to get that gap increased if we can and it'll be a good test." -- Flames captain Mark Giordano


Sharks projected lineup

Timo Meier -- Logan Couture -- Joe Pavelski

Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joonas Donskoi

Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Barclay Goodrow -- Dylan Gambrell -- Melker Karlsson

Radim Simek -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Tim Heed

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Lukas Radil, Joakim Ryan

Injured: Erik Karlsson (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- James Neal

Andrew Mangiapane -- Derek Ryan -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

David Rittich

Mike Smith

Scratched: Austin Czarnik, Dalton Prout, Rinat Valiev

Injured: Michael Stone (blood clot)


Status report

Erik Karlsson remains day to day, according to coach Peter DeBoer. …Hamonic is a game-time decision after missing one game because of a lower-body injury. Prout will play if Hamonic is unable.


Stat pack

Thornton needs three assists to tie Gordie Howe (1,049) for ninth on the NHL all-time list and is one point from 1,000 with the Sharks. … Rittich is 9-0-3 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in his past 12 starts.

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