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Posted On Monday, 02.11.2013 / 3:10 PM

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

Backstrom to start in goal for Wild

CALGARY -- Niklas Backstrom is expected to make his fifth consecutive start when the Minnesota Wild visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

Wild coach Mike Yeo confirmed Backstrom would start after the team's morning skate, but said he didn't have a plan beyond Monday, even with a game in Vancouver on Tuesday.

"Just going into [Monday] right now," Yeo said. "Spent very little time thinking about [Tuesday]. That's important for our entire group, that we're not thinking about last game or [Tuesday's] game. We're just ready to play against a team that we know is going to be hungry and come out hard."

With just five goals in their last four games, Devin Setoguchi said the Wild will rely heavily on a strong performance from their goaltender.

"You need good goaltending in this League and we've got it," Setoguchi said. "We're not scoring goals, definitely [Backstrom] needs to play good and he has been and we need to help him out here."

Yeo ruled out the return of defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who will miss his ninth consecutive game with a lower-body injury.

"He's getting closer, yeah," Yeo said. "Conditioning-wise he's looking good. Ideally I wish we had a few practices here to get him in and see how he's looking, but he's getting closer.”

Here is the lineup the Wild are expected to ice against the Flames:

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Dany Heatley - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi

Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Mike Rupp - Zenon Konopka - Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Clayton Stoner - Tom Gilbert

Justin Falk - Nate Prosser

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

Scratched: Matt Kassian, Torrey Mitchell, Marco Scandella

Injured: Jared Spurgeon

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Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 8:31 PM

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

Hawks will be without Bolland vs. Flames

CALGARY -- The Chicago Blackhawks will try to snap their two-game losing streak against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, but they’ll have to do so without center Dave Bolland.

Bolland, who has three goals and four points in eight games this season, suffered a lower-body injury in the third period of Chicago's 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday and is day-to-day according to coach Joel Quenneville

"Bolly's out tonight," Quenneville said, adding he will continue to travel with the team to San Jose, where they face the Sharks on Tuesday.

"You're always concerned about the worst but he's not doing too bad today."

Bolland was anchoring the second line with Bryan Bickell andPatrick Kane. Not wanting to shake up his roster too much, Quenneville suggestedAndrew Shaw will be promoted to the second line while Marcus Kruger would also be promoted up the chart.

"We don't want to mix up too much if the lines," he said. "We'll probably move everybody up a line at center. Shawsy will probably move up in that spot. Krug's move up so everybody get maybe a little more quality."

Bolland's injury could mark the return of Jamal Mayers to the lineup. If Mayers does indeed draw in, he'll be skating in his 900th career National Hockey League game.

"He's had a nice career, the ultimate pro," Quenneville said. "It's not easy when you've got to sit a guy out like that knowing the leadership he brings your team, the way he competes and the experience factor. He's been handling it OK, but I know inside he wants to be playing in the worst way and it's nice to see him get back in the lineup"

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Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Emery expected to start for Blackhawks; Bolland out?

CALGARY, Alberta – Playing the second of back-to-back games and their third contest in four nights, the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to start Ray Emery against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Emery’s only start this season came in a 6-4 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 20.

Chicago could find itself without Dave Bolland, however. Bolland took a slash from Jannik Hansen in the third period of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday and didn’t return to the game.

The team is expected to give an update on Bolland’s status later Saturday.

Bolland has three goals and four points in eight games this season centering Chicago’s second line with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane.

With Bolland out, coach Joel Quinneville could shuffle his lines. Here is the lineup he could use when they visit the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Bryan BickellPatrick SharpPatrick Kane

Brandon BolligAndrew ShawViktor Stalberg

Jamal MayersMarcus KrugerMichael Frolik

Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook

Niklas HjalmarssonJohnny Oduya

Sheldon BrookbankNick Leddy

Ray Emery

Corey Crawford

Injured; David Bolland, Daniel Carcillo

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Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:51 PM

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

Hartley to reunite top line vs. Blackhawks

CALGARY, Alberta – In an effort to jump-start an offense that has scored 14 goals in five games this season, Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley has reassembled one of the team’s most dangerous lines from a year ago as they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Alex Tanguay, who shares the team lead with three goals and five points, will center captain Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri in an effort to ignite the two wings who are both searching for their first goal this season.

“Sometimes you shuffle the deck a little bit and you create reactions,” Hartley said. “It's all trying to help him and trying to help a couple others, and at the same time it’s to find the right combinations to allow us to win some hockey games.”

The combination meshed well a season ago after Cammalleri was acquired in January.

“We’ve had some success in the past playing together and I enjoy playing with both of them. Cammy is a very competitive guy,” said Iginla, who leads Calgary with 22 shots. “He’s a very smart hockey player. He gets himself into shooting positions and he creates a lot. Playing with him, we’re both going to try to shoot the puck.”

The Flames will also welcome defenseman Derek Smith back to the lineup, who was a healthy scratch against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Cory Sarich will sit in his place.

Here is the lineup the Flames will likely use when they host the Blackhawks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday:

Michael CammalleriAlex TanguayJarome Iginla

Curtis GlencrossMikael BacklundLee Stempniak

Jiri HudlerMatt StajanRoman Cervenka

Blair JonesSteve BeginBlake Comeau

Jay BouwmeesterMark Giordano

Dennis WidemanTJ Brodie

Derek SmithChris Butler

Miikka Kiprusoff

Leland Irving

Injured: Anton Babchuk, Sven Baertschi

Scratched: Tim, Jackman, Cory Sarich

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 2:28 PM

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

Avs expected to give Giguere first start of season

CALGARY, Alberta -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere is expected to get his first start of the season Thursday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Scotiabank Saddledome to take on the Calgary Flames.

In his only appearance this year, Giguere kicked aside 17 shots in relief of Semyon Varlamov in Colorado's 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks Saturday.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog remains questionable to face the Flames.

Here are Colorado's lines as the Avalanche look to snap a three-game losing streak against the Flames:

Jamie McGinnMatt DuchenePA Parenteau

John MitchellPaul StastnyDavid Jones

Chuck KobasewMichael SgarbossaMilan Hejduk

Cody McLeodMark OlverPatrick Bordeleau

Erik JohnsonRyan Wilson

Greg ZanonMatt Hunwick

Ryan O'ByrneJan Hejda

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Tyson Barrie, Shane O'Brien

Injured: Steve Downie, Gabriel Landeskog

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 2:10 PM

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

Flames' Baertschi out 'week-to-week'

CALGARY, Alberta -- Rookie Sven Baertschi will be out of the lineup when the Calgary Flames host the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Baertschi suffered a hip flexor injury in practice Tuesday and is listed by the team as week-to-week.

"I was skating and my left skate seemed to have caught a rut in the ice and my legs kind of went into a splits position," Baertschi said in a statement. "I felt pain immediately and left the ice to have it checked. It’s very disappointing to learn that it’s a hip flexor injury that will keep me out of the lineup.”

Coach Bob Hartley said he will soldier on without the 20-year-old.

"You can't win with the players you don't have," Hartley said. "You play with the 20 bodies that you have in your lineup. Sven is capable of many great things, but we believe in everyone in this lineup. It's not a one-man show. It's about being a team. There's always a good and a bad part to injuries. The bad part is the player can't play. The good part, it gives opportunities to others to get some roles, to get some responsibilities."

Here are the Flames' lines against the Avalanche as Calgary looks for its second consecutive win of the season:

Curtis GlencrossAlex TanguayJarome Iginla

Lee StempniakMikael BacklundMichael Cammalleri

Jiri HudlerMatt StajanRoman Cervenka

Blake ComeauBlair JonesTim Jackman

Jay BouwmeesterMark Giordano

Dennis WidemanTJ Brodie

Cory SarichChris Butler

Miikka Kiprusoff

Leland Irving

Injured: Anton Babchuk, Sven Baertschi

Scratched: Steve Begin, Derek Smith

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Posted On Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 3:05 PM

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

Hordichuk ready to add toughness to Alberta rivalry

CALGARY, Alberta – With the "Battle Of Alberta" considered among the League's most physical rivalries, Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger has opted to install one of the team’s tougher forwards into the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Darcy Hordichuk will see his first action of the season when the Oilers visit the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome, and the six-foot, one-inch forward is expecting to spice up what should be a spirited affair between the provincial rivals.

"I think that’s why they’re putting me in there, to bring that physicality," Hordichuk said. "It’s going to be a fun game to play and every time we play these guys they’ve been a tough team to play against."

Hordichuk will also be tasked with keeping an eye on some of the Oilers’ young stars. With Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov all in the lineup, it’s Hordichuk’s responsibility to make sure the opposition doesn’t take liberties with Edmonton’s core.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 2:44 PM

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

Czech mates set for Calgary debut

CALGARY, Alberta – Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka will both make their debut with the Calgary Flames Saturday in this season's first installment of the "Battle Of Alberta."

Hudler left training camp and missed the opening three games of the season for Calgary after tending to the passing of his father, Jiri Hudler Sr., in the Czech Republic.

Cervenka missed training camp with issues relating to a blood clot. After seeing a hematology expert at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, the Czech forward has been cleared to play and is ready to be inserted in the lineup against the Oilers for his first career National Hockey League game.

"He’s confident and good for him," Hudler said of his teammate and countryman. "He’s got his big day. We took a picture having breakfast this morning, his first game-day breakfast. It’s nice."

Though he's no stranger to NHL action, the game will hold special significance for Hudler, too. Saturday's match will mark the 29-year-old’s first in a Flames uniform after signing a four-year, $16-million contract in July.

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Posted On Monday, 01.21.2013 / 4:15 PM

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

Fowler makes debut for Ducks in Calgary

CALGARY -- Fresh off a 7-3 season-opening win against the Vancouver Canucks, the Anaheim Ducks aren't expected to make many changes to their lineup for Monday's game against the Calgary Flames.

"You win and coaches have a tendency to keep the same lineup," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.

The only expected change to Anaheim's roster will feature Cam Fowler joining the lineup after missing Saturday's game with the flu. He is expected to take the place of Jordan Hendry.

Here is the lineup the Ducks likely will use Monday night:

Kyle Palmieri - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Bobby Ryan - Nick Bonino - Teemu Selanne

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik

Matt Beleskey - Rickard Rakell - Devante Smith-Pelly

Francois Beauchemin - Toni Lydman

Cam Fowler - Bryan Allen

Luca Sbisa - Sheldon Souray

Jonas Hiller

Viktor Fasth

Injured: Sami Vatanen

Scratched: Jordan Hendry, Peter Holland, Brad Staubitz

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Posted On Monday, 01.21.2013 / 4:07 PM

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

Jones, Brodie expected to make season debut

CALGARY -- Blair Jones and TJ Brodie are expected to make their season debut as the Calgary Flames host the Anaheim Ducks Monday.

Both players were healthy scratches in Calgary's home opener, a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

"I've been looking forward to the start of the season for a long time so for me, personally, it's a big deal," Jones said.

Jones, who had four points in 21 games for the Flames after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade in January, was disappointed to sit out Sunday.

"It's a pretty tough pill to swallow but it's really out of my control," he said. "I'm just going to worry about what I can do and that's play a hard game tonight."

Here’s how the Flames' lineup will likely look Monday night:

Curtis Glencross - Alex Tanguay - Jarome Iginla

Sven Baertschi - Mikael Backlund - Mike Cammalleri

Roman Horak - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Blake Comeau - Blair Jones - Tim Jackman

Mark Giordano - Jay Bouwmeester

Chris Butler - Dennis Wideman

TJ Brodie - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff

Leland Irving

Injured: Anton Babchuk, Roman Cervenka

Scratched: Steve Begin, Derek Smith

Bereavement: Jiri Hudler

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Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center