The Calgary Flames (22-26-3, 47 points) continue their march to the off-season tonight with their final game of the season against the Ottawa Senators (22-27-5, 49 points). It’s the second-to-last game of the campaign for a Senators group that has quietly passed Calgary and Vancouver in the standings with a late push. Can D.J. Smith’s group finish strong, or will the Flames get back into the win column?

The puck drops just after 6:00 p.m. MT and you can catch the game on Sportsnet West or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Monahan – Ryan – Dube
Mangiapane – Backlund – Nordstrom
Lucic – Gawdin – Ritchie

Giordano – Tanev
Nesterov – Andersson
Kylington – Stone

Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by Louis Domingue. The active extras are expected to be Juuso Valimaki, Byron Froese and Buddy Robinson. (Adding Glenn Gawdin from the taxi squad will use up their third regular recall.) The taxi squad is Artyom Zagidulin, Connor Mackey, Gawdin, Zac Rinaldo and Dominik Simon.

Since Darryl Sutter became coach on Mar. 11, the Flames are 11-14-0. But behind that record is much better structural three-zone hockey than under Geoff Ward, just with some bad bounces, inability to bury scoring chances, and general bad luck. If the Flames play this well most of the season, and find ways to make goalies’ lives harder with tips and screens, they’re bound to get better results.

The Senators

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Norris – Batherson
Paul – White – Dadonov
Stützle – Pinto – C. Brown
Dzingel – Tierney – Abramov

Mete – Zaitsev
Brannstrom – Zub
Alsing – Bernard-Docker

Anton Forsberg starts for the Senators, backed up by Filip Gustavsson. Their active extras are Michael Amadio, Alex Formenton and Artem Anisimov. Their taxi squad is Jonathan Aspirot, Cody Goloubef, Parker Kelly, Clark Bishop and Michael Haley.

Since Sutter became Flames coach on Mar. 11, the Senators are 13-8-4. After a rough start to the season, the Senators have settled in nicely. If their young players can make improvements over the summer, this pesky bunch could give a lot of teams fits next season. (They already seem to have the Flames’ number.)

The numbers

Points (%)
47 (.461)
49 (.454)
Adjusted Corsi For
Expected Goals For
Power Play
Penalty Kill

Playoff hopes and dreams

The Flames’ tragic number is 0.5. A Flames loss of any kind, or a Montreal point, ends their playoff hopes.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Noah Hanifin and Josh Leivo.

The Senators are without Derek Stepan, Austin Watson, Joey Daccord, Josh Brown, Matt Murray and Thomas Chabot.

When last we met

The Flames are 2-5-1 against the Senators this season through eight games.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

Ian Mendes
Murray Pam
Chris Stevenson

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