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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:16 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues look to extend win streak to seven vs. Flames

CALGARY -- The St. Louis Blues hope to increase their winning streak to seven games when they visit the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

But the Blues, who last lost a game 4-3 in a shootout to the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 23, know not to take Calgary lightly.

"That was a wake-up call that if you let your foot off the gas, teams are going to take advantage of you," Blues captain David Backes said. "We learned a lesson that night. It taught us a full 60 minutes wins a hockey game.

"We've had pretty good efforts throughout that stretch of games where we haven't lost, but it's another 0-0 game at the start of this one against a team that works as hard as anyone, so we've got our work cut out for us."


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POSTED ON Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wideman ready to return to Flames' lineup

CALGARY -- After missing 16 games with a broken hand, Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman will make his return to the lineup Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Despite missing over a month of action, nerves aren't settling into the veteran of over 600 NHL games.

"Butterflies? No," he said. "You definitely have to get your head back around getting prepared for a game. When you're not playing there's different preparation the morning of. I'm just trying to focus on getting ready for [Friday]."

Wideman sustained the injury blocking a shot late in the Flames’ 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 27. He's not sure what to expect in terms of workload after his lengthy layoff.

"I have no idea what the plan is there," said Wideman, who is averaging 26:14 of ice time this season. "I think for me it's going to be just trying to get the first couple shifts pretty short, try to get my legs under me, try to get my wind and get used to the speed again. The worst thing that can happen is getting caught out there for a long [shift] early on."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Westgarth could make Flames debut against Flyers

CALGARY -- If Kevin Westgarth can make it to Scotiabank Saddledome in time, he will make his Calgary Flames debut Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Westgarth, acquired Monday from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade for Greg Nemisz, is trying but may not make it in time for puck drop on New Year's Eve.

"Right now the main thing is to try to get Kevin Westgarth in town," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “His flight has been delayed. We think he's going to show up early this afternoon, so if he does he's going to be in the lineup."

If he does have Westgarth at his disposal, Hartley said he expects one thing from his new forward.

"Toughness," he said. "That's why we got him."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 1:49 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames' Backlund questionable for Canucks

CALGARY -- Despite playing a season-high 22:51 in a 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, forward Mikael Backlund could be out of the lineup Sunday when the Calgary Flames host the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Backlund missed practice Saturday and skipped the morning skate Sunday with an undisclosed injury.

"Backlund's going to be a game-time decision," coach Bob Hartley said. "I talked to him and he feels that he could be in. There's no sense in putting him in this morning. You guys [media] and I will find out basically at the same time [if he can play]."

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POSTED ON Friday, 12.27.2013 / 2:48 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames' Stajan OK after knee-on-knee collision

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan couldn't dodge David Backes but he did dodge a bullet.

Stajan won't miss any time after a knee-on-knee collision with Backes during overtime of Calgary's 4-3 shootout victory against the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

"I feel OK," Stajan said. "I've taken a lot of hard hits here lately but the three days off, I think it did a lot. Luckily there was no serious ligament damage in any of the plays. It's just bruises and aches and pains that you recover with time. I'm excited to get back at it and hopefully heal up as we go here."

With one minute remaining in overtime, Stajan had the puck and was cutting across the Blues' blue line. Backes went in to deliver a blow to Stajan but caught him with a knee-on-knee hit instead. Backes was assessed a minor penalty on the play while Stajan immediately left the ice, slamming his stick against the boards before exiting.


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POSTED ON Monday, 12.23.2013 / 7:03 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames lose Glencross, Russell to injury

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross will miss the next eight weeks with a high ankle sprain and defenseman Kris Russell will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a second-degree sprain of the MCL in his left knee.

Glencross hit Penguins rookie defenseman Olli Maatta into the end boards 37 seconds into the game and fell awkwardly with his left leg trapped under his body. He left the game and didn't return. The Flames placed Glencross on injured reserve Monday, a few hours before their game against the St. Louis Blues at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The 30-year-old had played six games since returning from a second-degree MCL sprain that kept him out of the lineup from Nov. 7-Dec. 10 -- a span of 15 games.

Russell was injured in the third period against the Penguins. Zach Sill fell on the 26-year-old defenseman after Flames rookie Sean Monahan gave the Pittsburgh forward a shove.

Russell, who is second in the NHL in blocked shots with 105, has averaged more than 23 minutes of ice time a game this season.

The Flames also announced forward Blair Jones will be out indefinitely with a meniscal tear and updated Dennis Wideman's status to week-to-week. Wideman has been sidelined since suffering broken hand in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 27.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.23.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Bouwmeester downplays return to Calgary

CALGARY -- Jay Bouwmeester's 800th career NHL game will have an added twist to it.

It will mark his return to Calgary.

Bouwmeester, who played 279 games during parts of four seasons with the Calgary Flames, is returning to the city for the first time since being traded to the St. Louis Blues in advance of the the 2012-13 trade deadline.

The 30-year-old didn't tip his hand to the significance of the game, which doubles as his 671st consecutive game.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 5:18 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hurricanes' Semin returns against Flames

CALGARY -- Alexander Semin is in the Carolina Hurricanes' lineup Thursday against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Semin had missed the past 12 games after suffering a concussion in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 16. He was first on the Hurricanes in assists with six and his nine points were second when he sustained the injury.

Anton Khudobin, who has missed 26 games with an ankle injury, has also resumed skating with the team. Justin Peters is in goal for Carolina on Thursday.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 3:42 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins place Eriksson on IR, recall Johnson

CALGARY -- The Boston Bruins have placed forward Loui Eriksson on injured reserve with a concussion and have recalled Nick Johnson from Providence of the American Hockey League.

Eriksson left the Bruins' game against the Pittsburgh Penguins after being hit by defenseman Brooks Orpik in the opening minute of the first period. Eriksson missed five games earlier this season due to a concussion.

"Some of the guys have texted him and had very limited contact with him right now," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's really early in the concussion stage. You don't want too much stimulation and stuff like that. It's been done purposely. I'll reach out to him when my trainers tell me he's starting to turn the corner a little bit and I'll be able to reach out to him which I've done the last time as well."

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POSTED ON Friday, 12.06.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames expect to face an angry Avalanche squad

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames are expecting an ornery Colorado Avalanche club at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

The Avalanche are set to square off here less than 24 hours after being on the wrong end of an 8-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

"They'll probably be an [angry] group [Friday], I would think," Flames forward Mike Cammalleri said. "Generally after teams have an outing like that, they feel like they have something to prove to themselves, their coach, their fans, the League, everybody the next night."

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild