Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames

7 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome, TV: Sportsnet Flames, Radio: Sportsnet 960 The Fan

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THE BIG MATCHUP

Michael Stone vs. Mark Stone

We couldn’t resist. Friday’s showdown at the Saddledome marks the fifth big-league meeting of the Winnipeg-raised Stone brothers — Flames defenceman Michael, 27, and his kid brother, Mark, a 25-year-old sharpshooter for the Senators. Mark patrols the right wing on the Sens top line, so he’ll see more of Mark Giordano or his minor-hockey teammate Travis Hamonic than his big bro, but the sibling rivalry seems to bring the best out of him. In those four previous dates against Michael, Mark has totalled two goals and six points.

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FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME:

A LITTLE HELP, GUYS?

Flames netminder Mike Smith has been brilliant, but he’s also been busy. Way too busy. Through four starts, the 35-year-old stalwart has been peppered with 160 shots, an average of 40 per night. Heading into Thursday’s action around the NHL, no other netminder had faced more than 123. Smith has backstopped the Flames to a 3-1 record, but 40-some saves is a big ask, especially over and over again.

SHORTHANDED SENATORS

This is good news for a Flames squad that is trying to shore up their defensive-zone work — the Senators’ most dangerous guy, two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, is home in Ottawa as he recovers from off-season foot surgery. The 27-year-old Karlsson piled up a team-best 71 points last season, so his absence is a big deal. He’ll be back soon.

SADDLEDOME DEBUT

Jaromir Jagr has been the talk of the town since signing with the Flames, but the 45-year-old legend didn’t have much nice to say about his performance in his first outing for his new employer. “I didn’t feel very well, but I expected that,” Jagr said after Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime win …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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