Preview: Flames at Golden Knights
Teams badly in need of some positive results on the ice meet Sunday when the Calgary Flames visit the Vegas Golden Knights for a Pacific Division battle. Calgary has dropped three straight contests after being blanked 3-0 at Arizona on Saturday while the Golden Knights are mired in a five-game losing streak following a 4-3 setback at Los Angeles the same day.
It did not help the Flames mentally or physically that T.J. Brodie failed to make the trip after collapsing and convulsing on the ice during a drill at practice Thursday, but the 29-year-old defenseman was released from the hospital after undergoing tests and team officials said he was doing well and recovering at home. Calgary, which was tied for second in the league in scoring last season but sits near the bottom in 2019-20, has managed three goals during its losing streak and coach Bill Peters told reporters Saturday: “We had some good looks but just couldn’t find (the net).” Vegas dropped three one-goal games during its losing streak, including Saturday when it battled back from two goals down to tie before Jeff Carter scored the only goal in the final period for a 4-3 Kings victory. “Any time the confidence is down, it seems like every chance against ends up in the back of your net, but we got to fight through it,” Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty told reporters after scoring his fourth goal in five games.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network; Sportsnet, TVA (Calgary), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Vegas)
ABOUT THE FLAMES (10-9-3): Matthew Tkachuk had 10 of his team-high 20 points in the previous seven games before being kept off the scoresheet Saturday and fellow left wing Johnny Gaudreau (18 points) was blanked on three shots. Center Sean Monahan and versatile forward Elias Lindholm each have 17 points and reigning Norris Trophy winner Mark Giordano is the only other player in double figures with 13. Calgary is not getting much from the bottom of their lineup as forwards Michael Frolik and Tobias Reider have scored once while Milan Lucic and Mark Jankowski are still looking for their first.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (9-9-3): William Karlsson recorded two goals and a pair of assists in the past two games to lead the team with 20 points - two more than right wing Mark Stone and Pacioretty. Right wing Reilly Smith has a team-high 10 goals - none in the past three games - and versatile forward Jonathan Marchessault registered four of his 14 points in the past four contests, including a goal Saturday. Backup Malcolm Subban was in net against Los Angeles and veteran Marc Andre Fleury (9-5-1, 2.68 goals-against average, .914 save percentage) is expected in the cage Sunday after losing his last two.
1. Vegas C Paul Stastny is three points from 700 from his career, but has been kept off the scoresheet in eight straight games.
2. Calgary D Oliver Kylington was recalled to replace Brodie and had two shots in 14 minutes, 5 seconds of ice time Saturday.
3. The Golden Knights knocked off the Flames 6-2 on Oct. 12 for their third win in the last four of the series as Fleury made 33 saves.
PREDICTION: Golden Knights 4, Flames 2