OTTAWA - Change, Glen Gulutzan noted, was coming.
After dropping six of their last seven games and losing four straight, making adjustments was deemed necessary and the coaching staff has moved Michael Frolik up to play alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
Frolik's longtime linemates, Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, will have former Senator Alex Chiasson on their right wing this evening.
"We haven't won in four. Sometimes you just a little tweak or a change," Gulutzan said following the Flames morning skate at the Canadian Tire Centre. "That's really why we did it. Putting Fro there, it's simply that I think he's good at retrieving pucks. He plays a real direct game. He's got good speed. That can help, or compliment, those two guys.
"I thought that move was just a little slight tweak, recognizing where we are and the situation. Who knows - it could last three periods, three shifts, three games. I don't know but it's a little different look and it makes guys know that we're not afraid to change things."
Gaudreau and Monahan have been held off the scoresheet in the past two games despite combining for 10 shots in the losses in Toronto and Montreal. Gaudreau is now sixth in team scoring with 10 goals and 29 points. Monahan sits fourth among Flames skaters with 15 goals and 30 points.
Frolik, who has four points in his last five games, is hoping his past experience with his new linemates will make it an easy transition for the trio.
"I think last year and even this year, in the start, I had a few games with Mony and with Johnny too … I've been with them a few times so I kind of know what it's like.
"(I) don't want to change my game just because you change the lines. I think just keep it the same way I play and try to help those guys on the ice. Be hard on the puck, be hard on the forecheck and try to generate some offence for them."
Calgary's third and fourth lines and their defence pairings are expected to stay this same this evening, with Freddie Hamilton and Jyrki Jokipakka sitting as healthy scratches.
In net, Brian Elliott will get the start. He was in goal for the Flames' 5-2 win over the Senators on Oct. 28, making 31 saves on 33 shots.
The Senators will also be making lineup changes with Tommy Wingels making his Ottawa debut this evening. The forward was acquired from the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday and is slated to skate on a line with Chris Kelly and Curtis Lazar this evening.
"Lots of emotions the past 24 hours here but certainly excited to get things going," he said after his first practice with the Senators. "It's fun to get out there for your first skate with the guys, meet everyone, get out there on the ice with everyone and just worry about hockey. Fun first morning here and I'm looking forward to the game tonight.
"A lot of new information, a lot of new systems but I think the key tonight is just key on the few principles I can pick up and play."
The 28-year-old had spent his entire 337-game career with the Sharks organization but was cognizant his run in Northern California could come to a close this season.
"Not too surprised," he said of the trade. "I knew something could happen and was probably going to happen at some point. But when it does happen, you're still in a bit of a shock because you haven't been through something like that before.
"I'm very excited it was Ottawa here. I know how good of a team they are, I know how successful they have been this year, the kind of players we have here. I'm just going to look to bring my same game and try to help this team out."
In 37 games this season, Wingels has five goals, eight points and 15 PIM.