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Flames' Hiller could be back in goal vs. Lightning

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (8-4-2) at LIGHTNING (8-3-1)


Season series: The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning won't see each other again this season after Thursday, unless they meet in the Stanley Cup Final, as they did in 2004. The Lightning won that series in seven games for their only championship, and they won the most recent game against the Flames 2-1 in overtime at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 21. Ondrej Palat scored the decisive goal three minutes into the extra period.

Flames team scope: This is the middle stop on a five-game road trip for Calgary, which has won the first two away from Alberta and three in a row overall. Goaltender Jonas Hiller has started four straight games and is 6-0-1 in his past seven games. "He's been great. Right now if you ask the Calgary people, Hiller would be an obvious Vezina candidate," Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz said Tuesday, according to the Calgary Herald, after Hiller made a key save against Tom Wilson in the final seconds of regulation to preserve a tie in what became a 4-3 overtime win for the Flames. Defencemen Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie lead the Flames in scoring with 13 points each. That put them in a tie with Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks for the scoring lead among NHL defencemen heading into games Wednesday.

Lightning team scope: Forward Cedric Paquette practiced Wednesday following his recall one day earlier from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Paquette, who's scoreless in four NHL games this season, was on the fourth line with fellow rookies Jonathan Drouin and Vladislav Namestnikov. "I hope to be as confident as I am in Syracuse," said Paquette, who has four goals in five AHL games. Forward Alex Killorn, who sustained an upper-body injury in Tampa Bay's most recent game, Saturday against the Washington Capitals, isn't likely to play Thursday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Coach Jon Cooper said forward Brett Connolly has done some light skating but is a couple weeks from returning. Connolly has been sidelined since sustaining a lower-body injury Oct. 24 against the Winnipeg Jets.

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