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Arizona Coyotes @ Calgary Flames preview: welcome to Hockeyville

The Coyotes finish a stretch of four games in three days with a special event preseason game in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The Coyotes will wind up a whirlwind start to the preseason today by traveling north of the border to Canada to complete the four day Kraft Hockeyville Festival in Sylvan Lake, Alberta against the Calgary Flames. The reason the game isn't in Calgary is a good one and allows for fans to see the Coyotes on television for the first time this preseason.

Matchup at a Glance

Arizona Coyotes Calgary Flames

Points

89 (4th Pacific) 77 (6th Pacific)

Goals per game

2.56 (20th) 2.46 (23rd)

Goals against per game

2.73 (18th) 2.90 (24th)

Power play %

19.9 (4th) 15.7 (24th)

Penalty kill %

79.0 (26th) 81.7 (18th)

5v5 Fenwick for %

50.0% (16th) 47.74 (25th)

PDO (shooting % plus SV %)

100.3 (10th) 98.76 (26th)

View from Arizona

The Arizona Coyotes had a big win last night in Anaheim, earning a 4-0 shutout over the Ducks. However, those Coyotes aren't these Coyotes. Confused? Don't be. The Coyotes that played in Anaheim were part of the split squad that engaged the Kings in L.A. on Monday night. The pack of desert dogs traveling to the great white north were the ones that christened newly named Gila River Arena with its first NHL game. What does that all mean?

For starters, the Coyotes will get a chance to see if the chemistry between Max Domi, Martin Hanzal and Henrik Samuelsson was the real deal or just a one time thing. The trio combined for nine points and ten shots on goal against Los Angeles on Monday night and each played over 17 minutes in the game. The Coyotes need to find a line combination that can get the most out of both Hanzal as well as Domi. Replicating Monday's results tonight would go a long way toward securing immediate NHL futures for the pair of rookies.

The Coyotes will also be experimenting on the blueline, searching for combinations for the third pair. While Oliver Ekman-Larsson played with Brandon Gormley on Monday, it was likely more of an audition for the 2010 first round pick to secure a full-time blueline job to start the season. Of more interest will be the play of PTO Jamie McBain and whether his performance continues to impress Coyotes management enough to earn a contract.

As Mike Smith played the entire game in Glendale, the young goaltending tandem of Brendan Burke and Mike McKenna will likely go in this one.

View from Calgary

The Flames also played a split squad set of games, going home and home with the Edmonton Oilers. The road Flames lost 3-1 with Curtis Glencross scoring and Joni Ortio playing between the pipes. The Flames that played at the Saddledome won 1-0, thanks to a power play goal from TJ Brodie and eight saves apiece from newcomer Jonas Hiller and Brad Thiessen.

Here is a list of the players the Flames will be playing in Sylvan Lake:

Forwards: Curtis Glencross, Max Reinhart, Josh Jooris, Sven Baertschi, Joe Colborne, Mason Raymond, Johnny Gaudreau, Markus Granlund, Michael Ferland, David Wolf, Turner Elson, Brian McGrattan, Morgan Klimchuck

Defensemen: Kris Russell, Deryk Engelland, Raphael Diaz, Brett Kulak, Patrick Sieloff, Sheldon Brookbank, John Ramage

Goaltenders: Joni Ortio, Doug Carr

The Flames are young and looking to rebuild around a talent pool that is steadily getting deeper after years of draining it to make futile playoff runs. Gaudreau is a preseason Calder Trophy favorite, Sieloff was a key component of the American team that won gold at the 2013 World Juniors and Granlund is the younger brother of Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund. Things are looking up for Calgary and they will be fighting the Coyotes all year long for playoff contention.

Keys to the Game

  • Play mad scientist. The Coyotes need to find pairings and line combos that will work at the NHL level. Not all of these players today will play with the big club this season, but it's important to see what they could do if pressed into service.
  • Stay healthy. It's the preseason. No need for injuries to derail a year before it even begins.
  • Enjoy it. The atmosphere surrounding this game will be something special for an exhibition game. It's the preseason. Sure you want to win and play competitive, but don't forget why the game is there and soak in the experience.

Who's Hot

Martin Hanzal had two power play goals against the Kings to spark the Coyotes come from behind win in Glendale Monday night. Plus, it's never too early too bust out everyone's favorite Coyotes meme.

For the Flames, Raphael Diaz led this particular squad in ice time and shots on goal for their preseason opener.

Injury Report

Neither team has major injuries to speak of outside of the Coyotes not skating Brendan Perlini due to a broken hand and Mark Visentin (foot).

Puck Drop

The game will start at 4 p.m. Arizona time and will be televised on the NHL Network.