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Flames make lineup changes vs. Canucks

Johnson will start, Hathaway and Jokipakka draw back in

by George Johnson @GeorgejohnsonCH /

CALGARY, AB -- Ryan Miller, who's donned the red, white and blue in any number of glitzy international tournaments, hauled his Captain America garb out of mothballs Friday night.

The Calgary Flames out-shot the Vancouver Canucks 46-13.

Shots attempts were, by one count, an astonishing 84-22.

But the 36-year-old Miller - turning back the clock as well as the visiting Flames - was in vintage superhero mode, deflecting bullet after bullet from Calgary shooters out of harm's way to backstop a 4-2 triumph at Rogers Arena.

"I thought Millsy,'' adjudged Glen Gulutzan, the former Canucks' assistant, on Saturday morning, with a Scotiabank Saddledome rematch between the two Pacific Division rivals only hours away, "was real strong.

"You get a couple of those games every year where you play well and the opposition's goalie is up to the task and you don't get anything for it.

"But …

"In saying that, in a game like that we needed to find a way to at least get a point. We start games with a point, right? We've got to find a way, even when we're playing well and up against a goalie that's playing great, to get points.

"Because they're going to be important."

Miller, maybe plumb tuckered out, receives a respite to catch his breath tonight with Jacob Markstrom taking this turn between the pipes.

As many opportunities as his group conjured up, as one-sided as the give-and-take seemed to be, Gulutzan still felt there were areas for his group to address. One, in particular.

"We did have a territorial advantage and did control a lot of the play,'' he acknowledged, "but I don't think we were as physical as we could've been throughout the game."

Which means the rambunctious, rabble-rousing Garnet Hathaway is back in this evening.

Video: Hathaway talks about getting back into the lineup

"They may be happy with the result,'' reckoned Hathaway of the Canucks, "but I don't think they can be happy with how they played.

"They might be worn down a little bit, with the flight and the game. Anytime I can get in there and rough them up a little bit or get a body on them and make them turn, force them to make some plays, that will help us.

"(Back-to-backs) are a lot of fun. That's part of the league right now. You get a lot of back-to-backs but not usually against the same team.

"They know us. We know them. It's going to be a battle."

Drawing into the Flames' net will be Chad Johnson, after Brian Elliott's personal five-game win streak was halted out west-coast way.

"We ran into a goalie that was sort of feeling it, to be honest," Johnson said of Friday. "We were pressing right from the start. There were open nets and we shot wide. And some plays that didn't go in.

"We made some mistakes, gave them some really good opportunities. Once again, it's not the amount of shots but the quality of the opportunities that matters.

"They're always tough games (for goalies). He's had a couple in this stretch … Vancouver last time, 17 or 14, shots, if I'm correct. So he's had a little practice trying to stay in it but it's never easy. There are usually around 30 shots and so suddenly when you're getting 12 scoring chances on 13 shots, some pretty good looks, it's never easy.

"Everyone always looks at the total but if you have 30 shots all from centre ice … looks good statistically and everybody out east who doesn't watch the game thinks 'Oh, what a great game.'

"But at the end of the day, you want to have a good amount of pucks to feel you're in the game but the quality is what matters.

"You're always ready for any situation. You're ready for one shot, 30 shots, 50 shots. Every game is different. You never know what to expect.

"You've got to stay engaged. You're not getting a lot of zone time, say, and then they're coming down on a 2-on-1. That part is challenging. But everybody's been through it.

"So I don't know if there's a correct amount. Depends how you feel.

"Personally, I just worry about the next shot, whether it's six in a row or one in 20 minutes."

NOTES: The Canucks are 5-12-1 on their travels thus far, outscored 57-42 … Vancouver defenceman Chris Tavev will miss out after being hit by a shot in the back Friday. He didn't travel to Calgary with the rest of the team and was later officially ruled out … Besides the expected Johnson-for-Elliott switch and Hathaway's return, defenceman Jyrki Jokipaakka re-enters the fray for the Flames with Tyler Wotherspoon coming out of the lineup.

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