Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Red Wings
Tonight marks the final meeting between the Flames and the Red Wings this year. Calgary holds a 2-1 edge in the season series and if they want to close it out with a victory, they know they have to play extremely well in their own end.
"We have to play good defence," Olli Jokinen said. "If you look at their lineup, they're probably the best team in the League right now.
"They have a lot of skill out there."
Head coach Brent Sutter credits his club's intelligent play against Detroit for their success and noted they will have to stick within the system if they want to end the year with three wins against the Wings.
"You've got to have your game at a high level when you play them. Obviously they have got a lot of very good hockey players on their team and when you play them, you've got to play a real good, strong disciplined game.
"A real strong team game."
The Flames enter tonight's contest just three points out of a playoff spot and play a ton of home games over the next couple of months. They have gone 8-2-0 in their last 10 outings at the Scotiabank Saddledome and their prowess on home ice can go a long way when it comes to climbing back into the postseason picture.
"We can't look too far ahead," Jokinen acknowledged. "We've just got to focus on tonight and try to get two points.
"We have a lot of home games coming up. We're pretty comfortable and confident at home. We've just got to find a way to get two points. Every game is like a playoff game for us right now."
The Flames have made some line adjustments that sees Alex Tanguay moving up to play alongside Jarome Iginla on the top line. The pair have had quite a lot of success together throughout their careers but Tanguay cautioned against paying too much attention to who is playing with who.
"I don't know what the lines are going to be for a long time. Brent has a tendency to switch them and see what's working in the game and stuff like that.
"We're not really worried about the line, We just want to play as hard as we can and get some points. In our position, we have to make sure we get points on a nightly basis."
Mike Vernon is the Flames all-time games played leader with 526 contests played between the pipes. Miikka Kiprusoff will tie that franchise record tonight.
Kiprusoff is two wins away from 300.
Matt Stajan needs three goals for 100.
Tom Kostopoulos needs seven assists for 100.
Scott Hannan needs nine points for 200.