The storyline for tonight is pretty obvious: Matthew Tkachuk asked out of Calgary, got traded to the Panthers in a late-night summertime blockbuster and visits his old Flames at the Saddledome.
But the game itself is much more than Tkachuk — or even Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.
The Panthers desperately need a win after blowing late third-period leads in successive games and getting two points when four were there for the taking.
Calgary is not faring much better as the Flames ended their long east coach roadie with three consecutive losses.
The Flames beat the Panthers in a Sunrise shootout then won in Philadelphia, but have not won since losing four of their past six.
Florida has lost six of eight.
The Panthers do not have the luxury of changing things up within their lineup and the lack of depth could be a big reason why the team is struggling late in games.
Not only is the team missing captain Sasha Barkov — whom Tkachuk referred to as “one of the best players in the world” — but it is also relying on three veteran players to play each and every night.
With extra players on the roster, there is no way Patric Hornqvist nor Marc or Eric Staal would play night after night.
At least two of those three would be taking tonight off in a back-to-back road situation.
Instead, they’ll be out there, logging decent minutes.
Do not be surprised to see Ryan Lomberg move up to get more chances; he has not had many on a fourth-line which has produced no offense thus far although Monday night did show some signs of life.
Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to be back in net for the Panthers as he gets a shot for the first time since Florida’s frustrating loss in Columbus.
That was almost 10 days ago as Spencer Knight has been handed the keys to the Florida net.
As much as the Panthers need a win tonight, Bobrovsky probably could use one even more.
Dan Vladar is in net for the Flames.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT CALGARY FLAMES
- When: Tuesday, 9 p.m.
- Where: The Saddledome; Calgary, Alberta
- TV: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- DraftKings odds — Calgary favored: Money Line (-155); Puck line (-1.5, +155); Over/Under 6 (-125/+105)
- Season Series (Calgary leads 1-0): Flames 5, Panthers 4 SO (Nov. 19)
- Last season: Split 1-1
- All-time regular season series: Calgary leads 23-11-3, 3 ties
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
21 Nick Cousins // 9 Sam Bennett // 13 Matthew Tkachuk
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 6 Colin White
20 Aleksi Heponiemi // 12 Eric Staal // 70 Patric Hornqvist
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
62 Brandon Montour // 18 Marc Staal
28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
30 Spencer Knight
Scratched: Sasha Barkov (illness)
Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles)
PROJECTED CALGARY FLAMES LINEUP
10 Jonathan Huberdeau // 28 Elias Lindholm // 73 Tyler Toffoli
29 Dillon Dube // 91 Nazem Kadri // 88 Andrew Mangiapane
63 Adam Ruzicka // 11 Mikael Backlund // 20 Blake Coleman
17 Milan Lucic // 22 Trevor Lewis // 24 Brett Ritchie
55 Noah Hanifin // 4 Rasmus Andersson
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 8 Chris Tanev
16 Nikita Zadorov // 26 Michael Stone
80 Daniel Vladar
25 Jacob Markstrom