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Peake back in the 'Dome for Retro Night

Tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames are celebrating Retro Night and the dulcet tones of Russ Peake are once again back on the PA call

by George Johnson @GeorgejohnsonCH / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - On the microphone, Russ Peake was there, from the beginning with the Flames.

"From 1980 to '96,'' the veteran CFCN sports broadcaster, now 12 years happily retired, is recalling.

"Well, the atmosphere in the Corral those first three years was fantastic. First of all, the town went crazy just getting the franchise.

"So it was going to be electric anyway.

"But then to be crowded into the old building … it was cramped, it was loud and it was wild.

"Originally, for a press box there were three little booths on the one side and a tiny open space for the newspaper guys. So they had to build a completely new box on the other side. 

"I'm sure that first season, when the Flames went all the way to the semis, the NHL must've been scared to death to ponder a final in the old Corral, with 7,000 seats.

 "Where on earth would they put everybody?"

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Bennett back in lineup for Battle Of Alberta

The 20-year-old will centre Johnny Gaudreau and Alex Chiasson this evening

by George Johnson @GeorgejohnsonCH / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - The sky, points out Mark Giordano, didn't fall. The end of the world as we now it, was not nigh.

No calamity or pestilence or drought involved here.

"We're making a huge deal of this,'' chided the Calgary Flames' captain. "But he's 20. He's going to go through more tough situations in his career, for sure, when things aren't going well.

"It happens.

"He's had a lot of success, got a lot of attention, in this league at a young age. And he probably hasn't been in this situation for a long while, if ever.

"There's so much attention on these guys now that when something like this does happen, a pretty normal thing actually, everybody can't stop talking about it."

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Projected Lineup - Flames vs. Oilers

The Flames projected lines, pairings and starting goaltender for tonight's Battle Of Alberta

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - With Sam Bennett drawing back into the lineup, the Calgary Flames will make a couple of alterations to the lines this evening.

Check out tonight's projected lineup:

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Fast Facts - Flames vs. Oilers

Notes ahead of tonight's Flames vs. Oilers match-up at the Scotiabank Saddledome

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

THE BATTLE OF ALBERTA

Tonight's game is the fourth and final contest between the Flames and Oilers in the 2016-17 campaign. The Flames are 0-2-1 in this year's season series, dropping their first two games against the Oilers in regulation and falling 2-1 in a shootout last Saturday. In their last 10 games against Edmonton, the Flames hold a 5-4-1 record.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. EDMONTON

Mikael Backlund picked up his NHL assist against the Oilers on Jan. 30, 2010.

TJ Brodie and Matthew Tkachuk made their NHL debuts against Edmonton, with Brodie's coming on Oct. 7, 2010 and Tkachuk skating in his first game on Oct. 12, 2016.

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Bennett, Flames ready for Battle Of Alberta

Sam Bennett is expected to draw back into the lineup on Saturday night when the Flames host the Oilers

by George Johnson @GeorgejohnsonCH / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - More than 24 hours are left to kill before the back end of Hockey Night in Canada's Saturday doubleheader and already Sam Bennett is chomping at the bit, straining to wriggle off the leash, to be released from the cage.

Bennett's gaze - level, unblinking - left no doubt Friday as to his feelings as he stood in front of the Flames backdrop to address his caught-off-guard banishment to the press box for Thursday's loss to Nashville.

"It was,'' Bennett acknowledged, "really tough."

"Obviously I want to be out there and do everything I can to help my team win.

"That's hard to do from the stands."

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Flames take light approach with optional Friday

The team is ready to host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - Attendance was minimal. 

Four skaters. Two goaltenders. Three coaches.

But what seemed to be an optional skate for the Calgary Flames on Friday morning following a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday night was more about refocusing off the ice. 

Not on it.

"We were in that game pretty much for most of it even though we didn't have one of our better nights," forward Kris Versteeg said. "We understood that. 

"Be ready for Edmonton. 

"That's what today was about. Rest up.

"Get excited about tomorrow's game."

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Johnson honoured by Brooks Bandits

The goaltender is the first inductee to the Smith Group Bandits Wall of Fame

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - Chad Johnson remembers it well.

His Brooks Bandits one on side.

The Calgary Canucks on the other.

Division semifinal. 

Game 6.

Max Bell Arena.

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Flames furious rally falls short

Three goals in final four minutes not enough in 4-3 loss to Predators

by Jason Johnson @jay__jo / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY -- Close but no cigar.

The Flames scored three goals in the final four minutes but couldn't find the equalizer, falling to the Nashville Predators 4-3 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

"We weren't ready to play," said coach Glen Gulutzan in his post-game media address. "They were the more desperate team ... we were kind of waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen.

"We need to figure out what we want to get done, what we want to accomplish. Once you get down, now you're at the mercy of a bad hop… you just dig yourself a hole, you have to be prepared to play."

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Hoping to get Bennett 'recentred'

George Johnson: Coaches and Treliving weigh in on Sam's struggles

by George Johnson @georgejohnsonCH / calgaryflames.com

This isn't a punishment.

A condemnation.

A slam. Or a slur.

"We aren't,'' stressed Calgary Flames' GM Brad Treliving, "taking him out to the Back 40 and shooting him in the knee.

"Look, we're not happy about this, either.

"We think Sam Bennett's going to be a great player for us for a lot of years.

"But he's 20. When I was 20 I was trying to figure out how put gas in my car and tie my shoes.

"So, No. 1, we forget that he's 20.

"If you're asking Sam right now, he's not saying 'Yeah, you're right I'm 20 …' He's p--ed. 

"Which is exactly how you want him to be."

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Bennett to sit

"He's 20 years old. Sometimes guys just need a break to sit and watch the game and they come back a lot better.": Gulutzan

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - Glen Gulutzan is shaking things up.

The Flames head coach is sitting centre Sam Bennett as a healthy scratch this evening when the Nashville Predators make a stop at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

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