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Flames and Canucks set for Game 1

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (45-30-7) at CANUCKS (48-29-5)

TV: CBC, USA, TVA Sports

Season series: After the Vancouver Canucks opened the season with a 4-2 win against the Calgary Flames, the Flames won twice and lost in overtime to claim a 2-1-1 edge. Flames forward Jiri Hudler led with four points (goal, three assists). Canucks forwards Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, and defenceman Christopher Tanev, each had three points.

Flames team scope: Calgary center Sean Monahan will play after skipping practice Monday and leaving after 10 minutes Tuesday. "That was part of our plan," coach Bob Hartley said. "He's been playing tons of hockey and we want to make sure that he's as rested as he can be. That was set right from the start." Monahan (31 goals) skates between Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau, but Hartley did not reveal his lineup. Goalie Karri Ramo (lower body) and forward Paul Byron (lower body) each returned to practice, but forward Lance Bouma (upper body) and defenceman Raphael Diaz (lower body) did not participate. Forward Sam Bennett skated with the second power-play unit. If he plays, it will be his second NHL game. "All Bob said was, 'Just be ready,'" Bennett told the Calgary Sun. "I guess I'm expecting to find out [Wednesday]."

Canucks team scope: Coach Willie Desjardins did not announce the starting goalie for Game 1. Ryan Miller played Saturday for the first time since spraining his right knee on Feb. 22. In Miller's absence, Eddie Lack went 12-6-2 with a .927 save percentage. "The bottom line is, you go in with the guy that you think has the best chance to win the first game," Desjardins told the Canucks website. "I think we're fortunate because we've got two real good goaltenders and I honestly feel comfortable with either guy starting, I really do." Forward Brad Richardson (foot) practiced for the second straight day and is expected to play after appearing in two games since Jan. 16. "Everything felt good today, so as long as they want me in there, I’ll be ready to go," Richardson told the website. Richardson skated with Derek Dorsett and Shawn Matthias, who missed the final two games of the regular season with an upper-body injury but will play.

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