Devils Gameday Preview: Calgary Flames
The New Jersey Devils wrap up their Western Canada road trip on Nov. 5, as they take on the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Similar to other games that the Devils played this week, puck drop will be late on the East Coast, with the game starting at 10:00 PM. The Devils’ road trip has impressed, winning in Vancouver against the Canucks 5-2 on Nov. 1 and defeating the Edmonton Oilers in stunning fashion with a 4-3 victory on Nov. 3.
The Devils’ have been red hot as of late, winning five in a row and sending shockwaves through the NHL. As of this writing, the team is fourth in the entire league just behind the Boston Bruins, Vegas Golden Knights, and Carolina Hurricanes. They are also second in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Hurricanes. While the victory in Vancouver was a great start to the road trip, it was the win in Edmonton that got everyone talking. The Devils scored two goals in seven seconds, a franchise record, stunning an Oilers team that entered the game with a 7-3 record and has two of the league’s best players in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
“We all said if we want to play playoff hockey and win important games at the end of the year these are the games you’ve got to turn around,” Jesper Bratt said after the win. However, the win came at the expense of goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, who left the game early with an injury. His status for tonight is unknown, but the Devils did recall Akira Schmid from the Utica Comets, suggesting that Blackwood may be out.
Related: 5 Takeaways from New Jersey Devils’ Thrilling Win vs. Oilers
Latest News & Highlights
The final tilt in Western Canada takes place against the Flames in the Scotiabank Saddledome, their home for the past 39 years. Several weeks ago, the Flames restarted negotiations for a replacement for the Saddledome. The Flames themselves, meanwhile, have struggled as of late. After starting 5-1, they have since lost three in a row.
Devils’ Projected Lines
*Devils line combinations based on team’s last game
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Fabian Zetterlund
Erik Haula – Jack Hughes – Jesper Bratt
Yegor Sharangovich – Dawson Mercer – Jesper Boqvist
Miles Wood – Michael McLeod – Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Brendan Smith – Damon Severson
Flames’ Projected Lines
Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm – Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube – Nazem Kadri – Andrew Mangiapane
Blake Coleman – Mikael Backlund – Trevor Lewis
Milan Lucic – Kevin Rooney – Brett Ritchie
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
MacKenzie Weegar – Nikita Zadorov
Connor Mackey – Michael Stone
What’s Happening in Calgary
While the Devils are coming off a victory on Thursday, the same cannot be said for the Flames, who lost 4-1 to the Nashville Predators on Nov. 3. Former Devil Blake Coleman was the lone Flame to find the scoresheet, beating goaltender Kevin Lankinen in the third period. Defenseman Chris Tanev did not suit up for the game, and the club is hopeful that he can return against the Devils. The Flames look very different since the last time the Devils saw them. They replaced Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk with Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri, who leads the team with five goals and ten points.
Keep an Eye On
New Jersey Devils: Miles Wood
It was the two late goals that propelled the Devils to defeat the Oilers, but it was Miles Wood’s two goals earlier in the game that put them in position to get the win. He scored off the backhand in the first period that tied the game up at one apiece and later put in a tally that cut the Oilers’ lead to 3-2, the first of three unanswered Devils goals. I think Miles’ game is really starting to come to the forefront,” head coach Lindy Ruff said. “His skating, again, is something that you notice every shift.”
Wood missed most of last season with injuries, and he has returned in a big way. He has six points in 11 games on a line that includes Nathan Bastian and Michael McLeod, two players that he has formed a connection with over the years. So far, he has six points on the season, four of them goals.
Calgary Flames: Tyler Toffoli
Tyler Toffoli arrived in Calgary midway through the 2021-22 season following a trade with the Montreal Canadiens, and he seems to be a natural fit with the team. He has seven points in nine games with the Flames so far, fresh off 23 points in 37 games with them last season. He’s second on the team in scoring, only behind new acquisition Kadri. Toffoli also brings playoff experience to Calgary, as he won the Stanley Cup in 2014 with the Los Angeles Kings. Recently, he shifted lines and is now paired with Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane, who are not afraid to shoot the puck in their own right. For the tilt against the Devils, Toffoli will be promoted to the first line alongside Elias Lindholm and Jonathan Huberdeau, which shows coach Darryl Sutter’s faith in the winger.
Where to Tune In
The Flames and Devils will play at 10:00 pm ET on MSGSN, with Bill Spaulding and Ken Daneyko calling the action. The Devils Hockey Network will also host the game and feature Matt Loughlin and Chico Resch as the commentators.
Erik Johnsen is one of the NJ Devils writer for The Hockey Writers. He is also a writer for Triple Play Newsletter. Erik is a 2022 Rider University graduate, and co-hosts a podcast called Too Many Men.