The Florida Panthers continue their road trip in Western Canada, as they take on the Calgary Flames tonight. After a heartbreaking loss to the Oilers in Overtime last night, the Panthers look to bounce back as Matthew Tkachuk makes his return to Calgary. It’s never easy to win both games on a back-to-back, but this is a must-win scenario for the Panthers. The Flames, just like the Panthers, aren’t performing up to their standard. The Flames are on a two-game losing streak and look to turn things around at home tonight. A homecoming for Matthew Tkachuk should make for an awesome game at the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight.
The last time these two teams met was back on the 19th in Sunrise, Florida. A tightly contested matchup that resulted in the Flames ousting the Panthers on home ice in the shootout. Ten days after playing in Florida, the teams that engaged in the biggest trade of the offseason will meet again. With a final score of 5-4, Adam Ruzicka led the Flames in scoring through the game with two goals and an assist. It was Rasmus Andersson of the Flames who scored the dagger in the shootout to win it for the Flames. The key to this game is going to be 5v5 scoring. Both the Panthers and the Flames rank toward the bottom of the league in terms of power play conversion. Yet, both teams are solid defensively, being in the upper half of league defensive metrics. The Panthers have the upper hand in the matchup, being ranked 2nd in 5v5 xG and Corsi For; this makes them incredibly dangerous with their ability to create high-danger chances and shots on goal.
Players To Watch
For the Panthers, it’s Matthew Tkachuk. I know I picked him as the player to watch yesterday but it only makes sense. He scored a beauty of a goal to start last night’s game celebrating the Oilers” crowding and asking if he can hear them. Proving at heart he still is a Flame. But getting on the scoring streak last night after getting his scoring streak broken shows just how competitive he is.
For the Flames, it’s Jonathan Huberdeau. Although he has not been performing to the potential MVP level he played last year, Huberdeau is still an excellent player. It’s a huge chance to step up big against his former club, it’s hard not to look at him and expect him to play well. Especially for a player who put up 115 points last year.