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Posted On Wednesday, 03.13.2013 / 3:00 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Red Wings’ Filppula returns, Howard ill in Calgary

CALGARY – Facing a variety of lineup changes as the Detroit Red Wings prep for the Calgary Flames, coach Mike Babcock almost overlooked the return of forward Valtteri Filppula.

“Yep. He’s in," Babcock said casually. "Oh I guess that’s another lineup thing,”

Filppula has missed the past seven games for the Red Wings after suffering a shoulder injury against the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 24. In his absence, Detroit has scored 10 goals and gone 3-2-2.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 3:08 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks, Flames

CALGARY – Here are the projected lineups for Wednesday night's game between the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks at Scotiabank Saddledome:

FLAMES

Curtis GlencrossMatt StajanLee Stempniak

Jiri HudlerRoman CervenkaJarome Iginla

Alex TanguayMike CammalleriSven Baertschi

Steve BeginBlake ComeauBrian McGrattan

Jay BouwmeesterMark Giordano

Dennis WidemanChris Butler

TJ BrodieDerek Smith

Miikka Kiprusoff

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Anton Babchuk, Tim Jackman, Cory Sarich

Injured: Mikael Backlund, Paul Byron

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kiprusoff returns against Sharks

CALGARY -- After missing 13 games with a sprained knee ligament, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff will make his return to the lineup when the Calgary Flames host the San Jose Sharks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Calgary coach Bob Hartley confirmed Kiprusoff's start Wednesday.

"I said 'Are you ready?' and he answered back, 'I want to play,'" Hartley said. "Once the medical staff clears you and the player tells the coach that he wants to play, you just open the door."

Kiprusoff's return meant Daniel Taylor, who went 1-1-0 in two games, was sent to Abbotsford of the American Hockey League.

A mainstay in Calgary's net for a decade, Kiprusoff has played 70 or more games in each of the last seven seasons for the Flames. Before getting hurt in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 5, the 36-year-old netminder had played every minute for Calgary this season.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 8:00 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Snowstorm in Alberta delayed Canucks

CALGARY -- A snowstorm in southern Alberta grounded the Vancouver Canucks.

Expecting to depart for Calgary after their 5-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the Canucks were stuck in Vancouver as they waited for weather conditions to improve prior to their game against the Calgary Flames 8 p.m. ET Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome.

On the Canucks' official Twitter account, the club announced its flight was scheduled to depart at 3:45 p.m. ET.

The game began on time.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 2:03 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flames' Taylor to start in goal vs. Canucks

CALGARY -- Goalie Daniel Taylor will make his second start of the season when the Calgary Flames host the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

For Taylor, who took the loss in a 4-0 defeat against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 18, it will be the second start of his NHL career.

"I feel that he had two great periods in Phoenix," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Joey MacDonald played quite a few games for us. Kipper [Miikka Kiprusoff] is getting healthier and he's getting closer, so we felt that at the same time as giving a break to Joey MacDonald, to have another look at Danny Taylor would be a good idea."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 3:06 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kiprusoff back on the ice for Flames

CALGARY – Having already missed nine games as a result of a sprain to his medial collateral ligament, Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is back on the ice.

The 36-year-old skated on his own Sunday after being evaluated by the Flames' medical staff on Saturday. It was the first time Kiprusoff skated since having the injury re-diagnosed as a Grade 2 sprain on February 12th.

"The medical staff last night were pretty pleased with what they saw from Miikka's condition," coach Bob Hartley said. "He will not be skating with the team, though. Tomorrow morning, we're going to re-evaluate how he is, is there pain, is he good and if he's still good, we're going to keep getting him on the ice and eventually you will see him with the team."

Kiprusoff originally suffered the injury against the Detroit Red Wings on February 5th and has played just seven games this season, posting a 3.24 goals against average and .870 save percentage.

He's played more than 70 games in each of the last seven seasons for Calgary.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 2:26 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Cervenka retuns to Flames lineup against Phoenix

CALGARY – Roman Cervenka will return to the lineup after a one-game absence as the Calgary Flames get set to host the Phoenix Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday night.

Cervenka was held out of the lineup in Calgary’s 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday in order to rest. The 27-year-old has been playing catch-up with his conditioning after a blood clot forced him to miss action leading up to the start of the season.

“I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt but we’re in the business to win games,” coach Bob Hartley said. “Here’s a young man that is coming in and didn’t play very much because of the blood clot and everything. His conditioning was not great.”

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Posted On Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 2:42 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Konopka ready for physical affair against Flames

CALGARY – Zenon Konopka heard about Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley challenging his team to be tougher to play against.

Set to play in his first game since Feb. 14, Konopka sees that as a challenge of his own.

“It’s a situation where he needs to spark his team,” Konopka said. “It’s one of those games I’m excited to play and I’m excited for tonight. I wish it was a 7 o’clock start instead of an 8 o’clock start.”

No stranger to the physical side of the game with 52 penalty minutes in 14 games, the 32-year-old is excited at the prospect of some rough play tonight.

“This is old school hockey and this is the hockey I love,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun tonight. I think it’s going to be a great game for the League and the fans as well, to see a lot of physical play.”

Rookie Mikael Granlund is expected to come out of the lineup to make way for Konopka.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 1:58 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Baertschi back with Flames; lines changed

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames will see some fresh faces in a lineup completely shaken up by coach Bob Hartley.

Hartley will move wing Mike Cammalleri to the middle, welcome back rookie Sven Baertschi from injury, and inject recently recalled spark plug Akim Aliu for a completely new look at forward when the Flames welcome the Minnesota Wild to Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.

"I sat with Cammy yesterday and I expressed a fact that I wanted to make some changes, and part of making changes was in order to allow me to make those changes I wanted to see if he was open to play at center," Hartley said.

The shakeup comes on the heels of Calgary's second-consecutive loss Wednesday and a record of 5-7-3.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 3:17 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Giordano understands reasoning behind fine

CALGARY, Alberta -- At the time, Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano didn't think twice about his battle with Dallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel on Sunday night.

Upon review, he understands why the NHL fined him $10,000 on Tuesday for his slew-foot on Roussel in Calgary's 4-3 win over the Stars.

"I totally understand how it looks and it doesn't look great on video on the replay obviously and I'm happy the guy isn't hurt," said Giordano, a first-time offender. "Those plays around the boards, they do have to eliminate them. I guess I'll take the fine and more forward and try not to do stuff like that again."

The fine is the maximum allowed under the new collective bargaining agreement and goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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