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Flames Today: 02.05.15

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
ANAHEIM, CA -- After a 30-minute delay due to ice conditions, the Calgary Flames went through a fast-paced practice at The Rinks in Anaheim with quite a few skaters in the mix.


And practice was full.

Mark Giordano went through his first full practice since sustaining a torn biceps tendon back in a win against the New Jersey Devils on February 25, albeit a limited contact skate for the captain.

"He was skating on his own and now the medical staff ramped him up for practice with limited contact so just a normal step of his rehab," Flames coach Bob Hartley said, nixing any ideas that the captain would be ready for a return to the lineup in the near future.

Giordano wasn't the only defenceman to return. Also taking part in a full practice was defenceman Raphael Diaz. The rearguard has been sidelined since April 2 with a lower body injury, but is now close to returning to the lineup.

Game 2, Hartley suggeted, is a possibility.

"We’ll make a decision tomorrow," Hartley said. "He’s a possibility but again, we’re going to meet with the medical staff tomorrow. We’re going to meet with Raffi. It’s going to be a game-time decision."

If he is able to play in Game 2, Diaz brings a lot to the table for the Flames. The 29-year-old went to the Stanley Cup Finals with the New York Rangers last season, giving him plenty of experience with the ups and downs of the postseason and how to manage emotions.

"Last year was a great experience," he said with a smile. "I played a few games in the playoffs with the Rangers last year … Everybody knows you’re taking it game-by-game. If you losing 5-1 or 6-1 or if you’re winning, it’s one game. I think this is important. You have to always look forward to the next game and go from there. It’s the past and things like that, it’s really important in the playoffs."

News of Diaz's potential return wasn't the only injury update Hartley provided. The Flames were also joined by Jiri Hudler, who left the game with an undisclosed malady on Thursday.

"Jiri’s good," Hartley said, confirming the veteran winger will be able to play tomorrow night.

Defenceman Dennis Wideman took a brief skate before exiting the skate early, but the blueliner will play in Game 2 according to Hartley.

"Just part of the plan," he said. "We got him on the ice and did a few laps and got him off. He’ll be in tomorrow."

Left wing Micheal Ferland did not skate on Saturday. He is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury that he suffered in Game 1 but Hartley is hopeful he will be able to suit up tomorrow night.

NEW LINE LOOKS

Hartley ran a few different lines on Saturday afternoon, mixing things up as practice went along.

One noticeable line shuffle incorporated rookie Sam Bennett. The 18-year-old took shifts on the top line, alternating with Hudler, Johnny Gaudreau, and Sean Monahan, and didn't skate with his usual linemates, Mikael Backlund and Joe Colborne.

David Jones joined Backlund and Colborne while Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris flanked pivot Matt Stajan.

David Wolf
, Markus Granlund, and Mason Raymond skated on a line together, with Drew Shore alternating in as well.

"Because we had so many guys at practice just wanted to look at different combinations," Hartley explained. "Lots of time, it's about gut feeling. We evaluate every player one-by-one and we try to come up with the best possible lineup."

Due to today's changing lines, CalgaryFlames.com Projected Lines feature will be posted tomorrow after the team's morning skate at the Honda Center.

RAMO READY

On Friday, Hartley announced Karri Ramo would get the start on Sunday and the netminder can't wait for Game 2.

"It’s a great time of the year. We just have to play as a team, do the best, and enjoy it," Ramo said with a grin.

The Ducks' net-front presence was felt in Game 1, with their forwards driving to the net as often as possible and constantly screening both Jonas Hiller and Ramo. Knowing that Anaheim will stick to that game plan tomorrow night, Ramo and his teammates are prepared for a physical battle in the blue paint.

"Everybody saw that they’re really good in front of both nets. We have to be more ready. We have to be more physical there. We can’t give them easy chances.

"They’re big but we’re big too. We just have to step up, everybody -- goalies, defence, forwards."

QUOTABLE

"Ah, you know, California's beautiful. You get to get a swimming lesson first, and then you get to practice. That's why you come to California. But there was no sharks." - Bob Hartley on the ice being over-flooded, causing a delay to start practice

UP NEXT

Game 2 takes place on Sunday in Anaheim. Game time is set for 8:00 PM MT, with Sportsnet (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio) carrying the broadcasts.

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