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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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Posted On Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 2:55 PM

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

Kings expected to turn to Bernier against Flames

CALGARY, Alberta -- Playing the second of back-to-back games, the Los Angeles Kings are expected to start Jonathan Bernier against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

Bernier will play in place of Jonathan Quick, who made 23 saves in a 3-1 win a night ago against the Edmonton Oilers -- his first win in four starts.

Coach Darryl Sutter didn’t confirm which goaltender would play, but captain Dustin Brown said the team has confidence in Bernier, making his fourth appearance of the season.

"That's the beauty of having two good goalies, especially on scenarios like this when you're playing back-to-back," Brown said. "Bernier's played well for us when he's gotten the opportunity this year. He's always come in and played well."


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Posted On Friday, 02.15.2013 / 3:05 PM

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

Horak back, likely to skate with Glencross, Iginla

CALGARY, Alberta -- Summoned yesterday from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, Roman Horak is ready to slide back into the Calgary Flames lineup when they host the St. Louis Blues at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.

Horak, who played two games with the Flames to start the season, was recalled in place of Paul Byron, who suffered a fractured left hand just 2:51 into his first NHL game of the season.

"Obviously I was happy," Horak said. "On the other side, it's too bad for the club when guys get injured, but that's part of the game. Like I said, I was happy to be here and I appreciate the call."

The 21-year-old is expected to take Byron's spot between Curtis Glencross and captain Jarome Iginla.

"If I actually get the chance to play with those guys, it will be a big honor for me and hopefully we can click right off the start," Horak said.

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Posted On Friday, 02.15.2013 / 2:40 PM

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

Allen earns second consecutive start for Blues

CALGARY, Alberta -- Jake Allen will make his second consecutive start when the St. Louis Blues visit Scotiabank Saddledome to take on the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Allen won his first career NHL start Wednesday in the Blues' 4-3 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings, snapping a five-game losing streak.

"It was a good feeling, especially getting off that slump we were on," Allen said. "Hopefully we can turn things around after the game. It was a big win. It was big for me. It was a good confidence boost."

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 2:27 PM

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

Bachman expected to start for Stars vs. Flames

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Dallas Stars are expected to turn to start backup goalie Richard Bachman when they visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

With Kari Lehtonen playing in Tuesday’s win against the Edmonton Oilers, Bachman will give the Stars' regular starter a rest in the second of back-to-back games.

In two games this season, Bachman is 0-1-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.

Here is the rest of the lineup the Stars likely will use Wednesday:

Brenden Morrow - Jamie Benn - Jaromir Jagr

Loui Eriksson - Derek Roy - Michael Ryder

Reilly Smith - Cody Eakin - Tomas Vincour

Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Ryan Garbutt

Stephane Robidas - Brenden Dillon

Alex Goligoski - Philip Larsen

Aaron Rome - Trevor Daley

Richard Bachman

Kari Lehtonen

Injured: Ray Whitney

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Antoine Roussel, Tom Wandell

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 2:18 PM

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

Cammalleri back, Byron in as Flames host Stars

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames will welcome Michael Cammalleri back into the fold when they host the Dallas Stars on Wednesday at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Cammalleri, still seeking his first goal this season, was sidelined with a nagging hip flexor injury and missed Calgary's last three games. The injury offered Cammalleri a unique opportunity to refresh his season, according to Flames coach Bob Hartley.

"Injuries, they're not fun," he said. "You need to work out in the gym. You're basically removed from the team, but at the same time it gives you a chance to work on your conditioning, work on your game, think about your game and yes, I think that there's always values to maybe take a step back, do little reflections and tonight it's a new start for Cammy."

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Posted On Monday, 02.11.2013 / 3:28 PM

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

Flames turn back to Sarich for blue-line help

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames will have Cory Sarich in the lineup for the first time since Jan. 31 when they host the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night.

Sarich, a healthy scratch for the last four games, is eager to make his presence felt on the Flames' blueline.

"Playing good defense is the No. 1 key and then trying to get some licks in when I can has always been a big part of my game," Sarich said. "I think I'm usually at my best when I'm playing physical."

For the most part this season, the Flames have rotated Sarich, Chris Butler and Derek Smith in and out of the lineup. Anton Babchuk, who is ready to return from an upper-body injury, further crowds the blue line.

Sarich, who will step in for Smith, is already used to the rotation.

"I've seen it enough now that I know what I need to do personally," he said. "Mentally I've dealt with it enough I think in and out of the lineup over the last couple years that this isn't going to phase me."

Though Sarich will see action tonight, forward Michael Cammalleri will not.

Cammalleri, who has missed the last two games with a hip flexor, is ruled out for the contest according to coach Bob Hartley and has been placed on the injured reserve list retroactive to Feb. 5.

"He's getting much better," Hartley said. "He skated yesterday and he's getting closer so he's on the ice this morning with us. Cammy's doing better, but he will not be in the lineup tonight."

Here is a look at who will take to the ice for the Flames when they face the Wild.

Curtis GlencrossAlex TanguayJarome Iginla

Jiri HudlerBen StreetRoman Cervenka

Blake ComeauMatt StajanLee Stempniak

Steve BeginBlair JonesTim Jackman

Mark GiordanoJay Bouwmeester

Dennis WidemanTJ Brodie

Chris ButlerCory Sarich

Scratched: Anton Babchuk, Derek Smith

Injured: Mikael Backlund, Sven Baertschi, Michael Cammalleri, Miikka Kiprusoff

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres