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Canucks at Flames preview

Calgary goaltender Smith to play in 500th NHL game; Dowd makes debut for Vancouver

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CANUCKS (14-11-4) at FLAMES (15-12-2)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, NHL.TV


The Game

Goaltender Mike Smith will play his 500th NHL game when the Calgary Flames host the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. Smith is 12-9-2 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in his first season with Calgary, but he's 1-3-2 in his past six decisions.

The Flames are 1-2-1 in their past four games and 3-4-2 in the past nine. The Canucks are 3-1-0 in the past four games after a three-game losing streak (0-2-1).

Forward Nic Dowd will make his debut for Vancouver. He was acquired Thursday in a trade that sent defenseman Jordan Subban to the Los Angeles Kings.


Players to watch

Vancouver rookie forward Brock Boeser has 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in his past 12 games. He leads the Canucks with 14 goals and 26 points.

Calgary center Sean Monahan leads the Flames and is tied for third in the NHL (with John Tavares of the New York Islanders) with 17 goals. He has three goals and one assist during a three-game point streak.


They said it

"I think everyone's excited. I know [Dowd] from summer skating with him so I know how good of a player he is and how good he is on draws and in our D-zone. It's a huge pickup for us." -- Canucks forward Brock Boeser

"I've had that attitude throughout my career -- just never take anything for granted. Anything can happen at any given moment that it can end. I think with that attitude and just the work ethic to never let your guard down, you can play for a long time in this league and play well." -- Flames goaltender Mike Smith


Canucks projected lineup

Sven Baertschi -- Sam Gagner -- Brock Boeser

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Loui Eriksson

Markus Granlund -- Nic Dowd -- Thomas Vanek

Brendan Gaunce -- Michael Chaput -- Jake Virtanen

Alexander Edler -- Christopher Tanev

Michael Del Zotto -- Derrick Pouliot

Ben Hutton -- Troy Stecher

Anders Nilsson

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Nikolay Goldobin, Alexander Burmistrov, Alex Biega

Injured: Bo Horvat (fractured foot), Brandon Sutter (lower body), Erik Gudbranson (upper body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Garnet Hathaway

Troy Brouwer -- Matt Stajan -- Curtis Lazar

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak -- Michael Stone

Mike Smith

David Rittich

Scratched: Freddie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski

Injured: Kris Versteeg (hip), Jaromir Jagr (lower body)


Status report

The Canucks held an optional skate. Granlund will play his 200th NHL game. … Jagr will miss his third game because of a lower-body injury. Tkachuk will return from a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct.


Stat pack

Henrik Sedin has 10 points, all assists, in his past nine games. … Gaudreau has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past seven games after getting 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in his previous 12 games. Bennett has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past six games.

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