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Flames close out homestand against Dallas

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

STARS (35-28-10) at FLAMES (40-27-6)

TV: SN1, FS-SW

Season series: Goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves and captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist to help the Dallas Stars defeat the Calgary Flames 2-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 19. Flames captain Mark Giordano scored and goalie Jonas Hiller made 19 saves.

Stars team scope: Benn is questionable after sustaining an injury late in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, according to the Stars website. Defenceman Trevor Daley, who has missed the past nine games because of a knee injury, may return on Dallas' three-game road trip which begins Wednesday. Forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has been out since Nov. 6 following hip surgery, could begin a conditioning stint with Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday. The Stars have won three games in a row and eight of their past 10 in an attempt to claim the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They trail the Winnipeg Jets by eight points with nine games remaining. "All we can do is win out. Take it a game at a time but try to win out," coach Lindy Ruff said after the win Monday. "We know where we are at. It's tough, but we are going to give it everything we've got."

Flames team scope: Calgary is 2-1-1 on a five-game homestand which concludes Wednesday. Center Sean Monahan continued his impressive month of March with an assist in a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. Monahan has eight goals and five assists in 11 games this month and has been a key component in the Flames' attempt to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009. "Maturity. Commitment," coach Bob Hartley said of Monahan, according to the Flames website. "He wants to be the best. Doesn't get too high; doesn't get too low. He's on the job. He put on a great summer of work, got so much bigger, so much stronger. After this, there's experience. We're playing him a lot because I have lots of confidence in him." Calgary (86 points) leads the Los Angeles Kings by two points for third place in the Pacific Division.

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