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Gulutzan making lineup changes in LA

The Flames will run new line combinations and defensive pairings tonight

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Glen Gulutzan is making changes.

The Calgary Flames ran new line combinations and defensive pairings this morning and Gulutzan confirmed he would be using them tonight against the LA Kings.

The most noticeable swap comes up front, with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan being moved to different lines. Gaudreau is being flanked by Sam Bennett and Troy Brouwer this evening and Monahan will center Micheal Ferland and Alex Chiasson.

The move comes at a time when both players are in the midst of scoring drought, with neither collecting a point in their last three games.

"Just going to try to mix it up," Gulutzan explained. "Most of the dynamic duos in the league have been broken up at some point in time and if you look at the results, we just weren't getting them. That's the motivation for the move."

"I don't think they were clicking the way the usually click and sometimes a little separation is good for both parties. We just moved the lines around."

The Mathew Tkachuk-Mikael Backlund-Michael Frolik line will remain together and Matt Stajan will play in between Lance Bouma and Freddie Hamilton this evening.

Hamilton draws back into the lineup as a result of Kris Versteeg suffering a groin in injury in San Jose. Versteeg was flown back to Calgary for evaluation and is week-to-week with his injury.

On the blueline, Nicklas Grossmann will slide into the lineup.

"We talked about this for awhile here. It's just a real big, heavy team and it's a little bit like when we put Grossy in in St. Louis and we won 4-1 there," Gulutzan stated. "We're putting him in a game where this is a big, strong team and we want a little weight in the back-end to get some of the bigger bodies to the wall, give us a little presence back there. It's good to bring in a veteran guy in these types of games." 

Defencemen Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka will sit as healthy scratches.

Brian Elliott gets the start in net tonight. He is 3-4-2 with a 1.94 GAA and a .931 save percentage against the Kings in his career.

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