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Flames sticking to motto: 'Every game matters'

Wednesday, 03.28.2012 / 2:50 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Flames sticking to motto: 'Every game matters'
CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have preached their season-long motto, "Every game matters."
With five games remaining, the anthem has never held truer for the 11th-place Flames. Calgary currently sits two points behind the Phoenix Coyotes, the current residents of the eighth and final berth in the Western Conference's playoff picture.
But Calgary isn't looking at the big picture when it comes down to their final five games. With the Los Angeles Kings in town -- another team they're trying to chase down -- the Flames are taking a day-by-day approach to extend their season.
"You just have to take it one day at a time," Matt Stajan said. "Today's the game we're focused on. This is fun. We've got to win today to keep this going. We know where we're at. We put ourselves in this position."
Forgive the Flames if they sound like a broken record. The club has been preaching the motto for the last half-dozen games. It's been true throughout.
"The schedule is winding down and these games are massive with the standings situation," coach Brent Sutter said. "Tonight now becomes the biggest game of the season. When it's over, the next one will."
Which makes every game a must, according to captain Jarome Iginla.
"For us, we need to have this one," Iginla said. "We needed our last one. We go in with the same mindset. We play, we play hard, and we play confident.
"A lot of people have written us off, but from our point of view it's just about this game. If we get this one, a lot of pressure shifts to other teams and we just try to claw back in and keep going."
Winning Monday over the Dallas Stars -- another opponent in reach -- to snap a five-game losing streak, Calgary hopes to build on a newfound momentum.
"You try to get your emotional level there every night," Stajan said. "It doesn't matter what point of the year you're at. You can't lose. You have to be ready to go this time of year."
Because if they're not, the Flames will find themselves further on the outs when it comes to the chase in the wild West.
Here's the projected lineup for the Flames:
Alex Tanguay - Michael Cammalleri - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - David Moss
Lee Stempniak - Matt Stajan - Blake Comeau
Tom Kostopoulos - Blair Jones - Tim Jackman
Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
Anton Babchuk - Clay Wilson
Miikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson
Quote of the Day

Well, for me this one's concerning, the way we performed. Because three games in, playing a desperate team on the road, I was expecting something else than this. Right now, I'm just disappointed. The other games, I thought we did some things that you can build off your game. There wasn't a lot accomplished in tonight's game.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards after a 4-2 loss to the Sabres on Monday dropped Columbus to 0-3-0
World Cup of Hockey ticket info