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FLAMES TOP LINE READY TO GO

Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland are looking to hit the ground running this year

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

For Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Micheal Ferland, now is the time to re-establish their chemistry.

And the Flames' No.-1 line will get the chance to do just that over the final two pre-season games, including tonight's contest in Vancouver (8 p.m. MT, Sportsnet, Sportsnet One).

They've only had the chance to play one game together so far this pre-season, back on Sept. 18 against the Edmonton Oilers. Then, they proved to be one of the better lines on the night, with a combined four points and Corsi-fors of roughly 69% each, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Ten days later, they'll be reunited for the final stretch to the Oct. 4 season-opener in Edmonton.

"Me and Ferly played a couple of games together, played well," Gaudreau noted following Thursday morning's pre-game skate. "One game we played with Mony, played well.

"So getting close towards the end of pre-season here, I think it's important to come together as a line here and play some good hockey."

The trio played together for a brief stint back in the 2015-16 season, and for the final quarter of last season. It was their second go-around that yielded immediate success. All three players' production picked up as soon as Ferland joined the Flames' two offensive dynamos.

"I think throughout the last season we were kind of playing with a ton of guys," Gaudreau said. "It's kind of been that way the past year and a half ever since Hudler left our line, so kind of struggling, trying to find a permanent guy, but I think we did a good job here finding Ferly."

The trio has been among the best players for the Flames this pre-season, all three in the top seven for Corsi events for per 60 (CF60) at 5-on-5 play, and Ferland and Gaudreau among the top four in Corsi events against per 60 (CA60).

In other words, they've been outstanding at generating chances, and doing well in not letting the other team have any, either.

"[Ferland's] a big, physical guy; helps us get pucks in the offensive zone, which is great 'cause sometimes me and Mony were struggling with that throughout the season last season," Gaudreau said of his newest linemate. "He's got a great shot and he sees the ice really well and I think he just fits really well with our line right now, so hopefully we keep building chemistry and start off the season the right way.

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