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JOHNSON READY TO GO

"Obviously tonight will be a good test. They're probably the most offensive (minded) team in the league."

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

Chad Johnson has been eager to get his next chance between the pipes.

After watching Brian Elliott start the last four tilts, Johnson will be in net tonight against the Penguins (5 P.M. MT, Sportsnet, FAN960).

You know, the same Pens team that leads the league in goalscoring with 184, including 12 in their last three games.

The team that will be without an injured Evgeni Malkin but still has Sid the Kid, Phil Kessel and the rest of the gang.

Not exactly the type of club you can ease back into the pool against, if such a thing even exists in today's NHL anymore.

"It is what it is," said Johnson, with a slight smile given the situation. "In this league you don't choose a lot who you're playing against.

"But at the end of day, your job is to stop the puck regardless of who the other team is or how you're team is playing.You do your part. My mindset is always on my own game. Obviously tonight will be a good test. They're probably the most offensive (minded) team in the league so it will be a good challenge for myself and for everybody to see where we're at as a group."

While many goalies won't talk on game day, Johnson was happy to chat after the team's morning skate at the PPG Paints Arena.

He had a great ring-side seat recently as the team strung together a three-game winning streak before losing 4-3 to the Rangers at MSG Sunday.

Johnson praised Elliott and the club for their run and said while he was happy with how well everyone was playing, he's happy to draw back into the lineup.

"Obviously everybody wants to play and as a goalie, there's only one net to be in," said Johnson. "We've obviously done well here the last three games and you always want to be a part of that when things are going well. For myself, hopefully I come in and we keep rolling like we have been and I can contribute.

"I have lots of confidence in this group," he added. "Everybody has confidence in our game, when we play well we can compete with anybody so I'm just excited to get back in there."

Coach Glen Gulutzan wasn't worried about Johnson having to shake off any rust.

"We had two good practices after the all star (break) and then we had a string of games where Els came in and played well," said Gulutzan. "But Johnny has gotten some good practices in and I think he's looked sharp so he's ready to go.

"He'll get this game and like I said we think we have two good goalies here so we're ready to play either guy."

 

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