Gameday: New-look Flames in town to face Flyers

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Calgary Flames (38-19-6, 82 points) #4 Philadelphia Flyers (34-18-10, 78 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM EST - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 206
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Matchsticks and Gasoline
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The Flames were argubly the most active and most improved team at yesterday's trade deadline, and their first test for their new acquisitions will come in Philadelphia tonight as they take on the Flyers.

Calgary added center Olli Jokinen in a trade with Phoenix yesterday, and in another deal they welcomed back defenseman Jordan Leopold for his second stint in Flames red. These moves were heralded around the hockey world, with the Edmonton Journal going as far as saying they push Calgary into direct contention with Detroit and San Jose in the West.

That's good company.

The Flyers will try to damper some of those Western Canada Cup dreams, though, with a solid win tonight on home ice. It's the first of five straight games at the Wachovia Center for the Flyers, a real good chance to put some distance between them and the teams behind them in the Eastern Conference. After all, Philly sits in fourth place, but they're just as close to ninth place as they are to third.

Jokinen will see a familiar face on the other team tonight in former teammate Daniel Carcillo. Carcillo makes his Flyers debut on a line with Danny Briere and Claude Giroux tonight. 

"My job will just be to get on the forecheck and knock some pucks loose and knock some bodies around and make sure nobody takes any shots at them," Carcillo said after practice today about his role on such a talented line. "I'm going to come here and be disciplined," as he smiled and paused, "and mean at the same time and help this team in any way possible."

The two teams that meet up tonight are two of the highest scoring teams in the league; the Flyers have 202 goals while the Flames have 207. The addition of a perrenial 30 goal scorer in Jokinen should seriously boost those Calgary totals, and it'll be interesting to see if that starts tonight.

Between the Pipes: Antero Niittymaki will start his second straight game for the Flyers tonight. He is coming off an excellent game in Boston on Tuesday night where he turned aside 22 shots en route to the victory. In his one career game against Calgary, he recorded a 65 minute shutout.

For Calgary, it's (as always) Miikka Kiprusoff. A native of the same hometown as Niittymaki, Kiprusoff is having a great season. He's first in the NHL with a 38-15-5 record, implying that he wins a hell of a lot, but pucks can be put past him. His 2.76 GAA is tied for 29th among eligible goaltenders.


Calgary Flames Injuries

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Todd Bertuzzi other-excused 03/05/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mark Giordano shoulder 02/20/2009
Rene Bourque ankle 02/20/2009
Wayne Primeau foot 12/06/2008
Daymond Langkow hand 02/18/2009
Rhett Warrener shoulder 10/09/2008


Questions To Answer

  1. What is Carcillo's impact in his first game as a Flyer?
  2. Does Olli Jokinen have an immediate offensive impact in his first game as a Flame?
  3. Antero Niittymaki owns other goalies from Finland (ahem, Lehtonen). Does it work against Kipper too?
  4. Briere's been back for three games now. Time for some offense?
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