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Carolina Hurricanes @ Calgary Flames: Game Preview

The Flames are — dare I say it — red hot.

NHL: DEC 14 Hurricanes at Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The season is still sort of young, but one look at the Pacific Division shows that things aren’t exactly lining up the way hockey experts predicted. Rather than another year with the Vegas Golden Knights running away at the top of the standings, they’re struggling to even stay in a wild card spot. The Anaheim Ducks, who were predicted to be at the bottom of the standings, currently hold the number two spot in the division.

And the Calgary Flames? They’re tops in the Pacific and second in the Western Conference. Last season, they finished fifth in the all-Canadian north division, and if you’d plunked them and their 55 points down in any other division, they wouldn’t have fared any better. (For reference, the Hurricanes had 80 points last season).

The Flames are being led by a resurgent Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm, and a breakout performance from Andrew Mangiapane. Even Milan Lucic is getting in on the fun with seven goals so far this season. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has looked practically unbeatable at times, with a goals against average of 1.83, so good luck scoring on him.

Before the game starts, let’s see how the two teams match up:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce are officially out of COVID protocol, but will be unable to travel to Canada to rejoin the team. They’ll miss this game, as well as the subsequent games against Edmonton and Vancouver.
  • Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane is having a monster season. The only players in the league with more goals than him? Leon Draisaitl (21) and Alex Ovechkin (20). Auston Matthews and Chris Krieder are tied with Mangiapane with 17 goals.
  • Five of Mangiapane’s goals have come on the power play. But even more interesting is the home/away split: all but one of Mangiapane’s goals have come on the road.
  • Sebastian Aho has points in three consecutive games.
  • This is the first time this season the Hurricanes have played Calgary. The next game is January 7.
  • The Hurricanes last played the Flames on December 14, 2019, in a 4-0 win. All of the goal scorers are no longer on the Hurricanes: Brock McGinne, Dougle Hamilton, and Warren Foegele.
  • Freddie Andersen is 9-3-2 against the Flames in his career. Antti Raanta is 5-3-2 over his career.