Calgary at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Friday, March 27, 2015
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Both the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild are battling for their postseason lives as they face off Friday at Xcel Energy Center. The Flames are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars and find themselves tangling with Los Angeles for the final automatic playoff spot in the Pacific Division. The Wild are comfortably in a Western Conference wild-card spot, but still trail Chicago for third place in the Central despite Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Islanders.
The Wild are on the verge of landing a playoff berth thanks to the continued goaltending heroics of Devan Dubnyk, who posted a sensational 38-save effort to fend off the Islanders. Dubnyk is 24-6-1 with a 1.71 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage in 32 games since coming to Minnesota in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes. The Flames kick off a five-game road trip Friday night after posting a 2-1-2 record on their recent five-game homestand.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, SNW (Calgary), FS-N+ (Minnesota), FS-WI
ABOUT THE FLAMES (40-27-7): Calgary is making its playoff push without the services of captain Mark Giordano, but the high-scoring defenseman remains a pivotal part of the locker room. Giordano, who is recovering from a complete biceps tendon tear, will accompany the team on its five-game trek to be part of team meetings and offer his teammates encouragement and advice. "If he can't help us on the ice, we're going to make sure that he helps us elsewhere," coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Sun. "He's so good at it, there's no reason we wouldn't use him."
ABOUT THE WILD (42-25-7): Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher isn't ready to proclaim himself executive of the year for the deal that nabbed Dubnyk from the desert, but he tells the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he can't remember seeing a goalie turn a team around this dramatically. "Not too often," Fletcher said. "Devan Dubnyk has been unbelievable for us. He's had just a tremendous season, starting back in Arizona and since we've acquired him." The surge has moved Dubnyk into second in goals-against average for the season at 2.07.
1. Each of the last four encounters have been decided by a goal, with the Wild winning three of them.
2. Dubnyk is 8-5-3 with a 2.25 goals-against average in 17 career games versus Calgary.
3. The Flames are 7-3-3 since losing Giordano to injury.
PREDICTION: Wild 2, Flames 1
Stats and Records