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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Sunday, 04.19.2015 / 3:07 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames counting on top line to spark offense

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames hope home ice can help them take a 2-1 series lead against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series.

But they'll need more from their top line to take advantage.

Over their final 31 regular-season games, Calgary's trio of Jiri Hudler, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan combined for 92 points. They have two assists -- each coming on a late power play with Game 2 out of reach -- eight shots on goal against Vancouver goaltender Eddie Lack and a combined minus-10-rating through the first two games.

"We're not too worried about our lack of success right now," said Monahan, who had 31 goals and 62 points in 81 regular-season games. "The crowd is going to be going tonight and I think we are going to feed off of that, and that's going to help us get going.

"It felt like it was coming and we know what we need to do to be better. We talked about it and we're going to have fun by doing that."

Game 3 is Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Posted On Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 4:39 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames forward Bennett likely to play in Game 3

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames rookie forward Sam Bennett said Saturday he feels good enough to be in the lineup for Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bennett left in the second period of a 4-1 loss to the Canucks in Game 2 on Friday after a collision with Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.

"It was just a bump, maybe knocked the wind out of me a bit," said Bennett, who returned in the third period but was limited to three shifts. "I'm fine now, 100 percent fine. That won't be a problem. Definitely there are times to finish your checks and times to pick your spots. I think ultimately you've got to finish your checks if you want to play, and that's what I'm going to keep trying to do."

The Flames said Bennett was evaluated following the collision and was cleared to return; he played 1:59 in three third-period shifts.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 7:09 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Short practice for Monahan, will play for Flames

CALGARY -- The appearance by forward Sean Monahan at Calgary Flames was expected. The departure prompted questions.

But Monahan's brief skate Tuesday morning was by design.

"That was the plan," the 20-year-old center said. "Obviously I had a few days off there to get some rest, and the plan was for me to go out there and see how I feel. I felt good and I felt like that's all I needed. The plan was, when I felt like I was OK, I should get off then. That's what we did. We'll go from there.

"Everything's OK. Guys are going to be skeptical and things like that, but it was the plan to at least get my feet under me with the team. I was out there with the team. I was feeling good and I just felt that was the right time for me to get off."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 11:02 AM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Injured Giordano hoping for lengthy run from Flames

CALGARY -- Mark Giordano is making strides. Literally.

Giordano sustained a torn biceps muscle in his left arm in late February in what was expected to be a season-ending injury, but the Calgary Flames captain has resumed skating on his own and isn't ready to rule himself out for the Stanley Cup Playoffs just yet.

"I'm trying to stay in shape and condition," Giordano said Monday. "I have to meet with the surgeon a bunch more times before that becomes a reality, but I feel good. I feel like hopefully the rehab is going better than expected, but it's still a bit early for that.

"I really have to start gaining my strength and stuff back. Hopefully we go really deep and then we have a decision to make afterwards, but right now it's still a bit early."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 3:06 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Flames

CALGARY -- The Los Angeles Kings have plenty of experience with playing in elimination games, but not in the regular season.

The defending Stanley Cup champions will put their season on the line against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNW) as they face elimination from Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

"We're definitely prepared for the situation," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We've played many big games like this. We have to treat them the same way. This is our Game 7, I guess you can say. If we don't win, we're going home. If we win, we have a chance to make the playoffs. We're going to treat it as a Game 7. It's must-win. Everyone needs to bring their best.

"Just being there before helps. We have a lot of guys in this room who, when those kind of games come up, they rise to the occasion and they play their best hockey. I know those guys in this room tonight are going to do those things and play their best hockey. When we have our top guys playing our best everyone else follows. That's when we're playing our best."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.07.2015 / 2:40 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have a date with the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, the team they’re currently deadlocked with at 93 points in the race for third place in the Pacific Division.

Saturday will bring the Winnipeg Jets in Calgary’s season finale, a team that sits one point up on the Flames and currently in possession of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

But before either of those games can cross Calgary’s mind, the Flames focus lies on the Arizona Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNW).

"Obviously we need to win tonight,” Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman said. “Tonight is a big game, we need these two points and we better not be looking ahead; that's for sure. This is still a team that can play and they've got some skill over there so we've got to be ready to go.

"We put ourselves in a good spot. I think if you told us at the start of the year it would come down to the last three games of the season we would take it. Tonight is a big game and to get a win tonight we've got to play well against these guys and we'll see what happens moving forward."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 2:56 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Flames

CALGARY -- The Dallas Stars will have captain Jamie Benn in the lineup in what is being dubbed a must-win game against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Benn, who has 10 goals and 23 points in his past 20 games, was originally questionable to play after sustaining an undisclosed injury late in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.

"I'll be in there tonight," said Benn, whose Stars are 4-0-1 in their past five games against Calgary. "I didn't want to miss this one, anyways. There's a lot of rumors out there I might not play, but I'm playing and I'm ready to go."

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Posted On Monday, 03.23.2015 / 3:41 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Flames

CALGARY -- Jarome Iginla spent 15-plus seasons trying to put the Calgary Flames into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now chasing the Flames as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, Iginla is hoping to put a dent in Calgary's playoff hopes to help his own odds.

"Being in the same conference and them being in a playoff spot that we'd like to have, it's not looking and just being happy [for Calgary]," said Iginla, who is set to skate in career game No. 611 at the Saddledome on Monday, a building where he has 268 goals and 302 assists all-time. "We're trying to catch them; we're trying to beat them. That's the game and that's the sport. It's the fun part. These games are important to win. They have a huge impact.

"It's a four-point game. It's a huge impact on the standings and for us, it'd be really big to keep moving forward and keep closing the gap on a big group of teams."

On a 6-1-1 run, the Avalanche have kept their postseason aspirations alive.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.21.2015 / 11:36 AM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Flames

CALGARY -- It's good news, bad news for the Columbus Blue Jackets as they face the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets activated forwards Jeremy Morin, who has missed the past 25 games, and Boone Jenner, who has missed 40 games, from injured reserve Friday, but center Alexander Wennberg is likely to miss the game against the Flames after a cut on his hand that required stitches to close became infected.

Wennberg, the Blue Jackets first pick (No. 14) in the 2013 NHL Draft, is just the latest injury in a difficult season for Columbus. According to the Blue Jackets, they've lost a franchise record 457 man games due to injury, surpassing the previous high of 411 set in 2011-12. Columbus is on pace to reach 528.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 3:21 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flyers at Flames

CALGARY -- The yo-yo season of Calgary Flames forward Markus Granlund continues.

Granlund was recalled from the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League on Wednesday and is expected to skate in his 38th NHL game this season when Calgary plays the Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

"It's great to be back here," said Granlund, who has five goals and eight assists this season. "It's my goal to be here. I'm here and I have to do my best. It's a big, big chance for me. It's a big game and I have an opportunity to play a big game."

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens