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From the morning skate

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames held an optional game day skate Wednesday morning as they prepared to host the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues have been bitten by the injury bug this year losing some of their key players. Andy MacDonald, Carlo Colaiacovo and David Perron are all still on the injury list. However, they are slowly starting to get a few of their other injured players back. The Blues have 167 man games lost to injury this year.

Barret Jackman will most likely return to the lineup tonight after missing his last two games. He also missed nine games due to injury back in November. If he suits up tonight, it will mark his 495th career NHL game.

The Blues are well known for their defensive hockey. They don't give their opposition a lot of ice to work with and they will make you pay for your mistakes.

"When you watch that team play, they play hard every night." said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter. "They are a resilient bunch and they are getting great goaltending. (Jaroslav Halak) is playing very well for them. They are a team that you have to be ready when you play them. They are going to work and they are going to compete and they are going to get in the trenches and they're going to play with their hearts on their sleeves. We have to make sure we're playing our game."

"They are really tight defensively," said Fames forward Tom Kostopoulos. "I don't think they're going to give up much. We have to play the same kind of game in the neutral zone -- no turnovers. Try to get the puck deep and try to create some offense from the corners."

It is the last game before the All-Star break and the Flames hope to keep the ball rolling and pick up their fourth straight win. They will have a few days away from the rink as they are not in action again until next Tuesday in Nashville, and want to return with momentum still on their side.

"We have to stay focused, it's the last game before the break," said Olli Jokinen. "We have to get the job done tonight and we have to be prepared to win the game 2-1 or 1-0, whatever it takes. I haven't seen their lineup so I don't know who is missing but they are a good team. We think we're a good team over here too so it's going to be a good battle tonight."

Miikka Kiprusoff will get the call in net tonight against the Blues and it will be a special one for him. Tonight will mark Kiprusoff's 500th career NHL game. This game will tie him with Jeff Hackett for 58th spot on the all-time most games played list for goalies. He has played 452 with the Flames and 47 with San Jose.

NOTEWORTHY: Jarome Iginla just passed Maurice "The Rocket" Richard with the game winning goal on January 24th for this 966th (462+504) career point and moves into 82nd spot on the career points leaders list, which is one better than Richard's 965 (544+421). Iginla took 1,074 games to get there while Richard finished with 978 games played.


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