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Johnson to start in Winnipeg

After turning in a 28-save performance on Saturday, the Flames will go back to Chad Johnson in net this evening

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson /

WINNIPEG, MB -- The Calgary Flames are going back to Chad Johnson in net when they take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight at the MTS Centre.

Johnson made 28 saves in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks and earned a rave review from head coach Glen Gulutzan for his efforts.

"Very steady. Just calm and steady," Gulutzan said. "Big saves at the right times, especially late in the game. On the power play against (Brandon) Sutter ... it was a huge save.

"I thought that his timing was impeccable for his saves. And just how calm and clean he was in his crease."

Johnson was in net for the Flames first win over the Jets this season, a 6-2 victory back on Dec. 10 in Calgary, making 26 saves on 28 shots. While the score doesn't necessarily reflect it, the Jets pushed the Flames in that contest and Johnson is expecting another strong effort from Winnipeg this evening.

"We know it's going to be tough match-up for us tonight. We're expecting a tough game from them," he said.

"They have a lot of skill, top to bottom, on forward and defence ... they're very well-balanced."

Johnson has appeared in 23 games this season, going 14-8-1 with a 2.28 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

In mid-November, he went on the best run of his career with a 11-2-0 record in 13 games from Nov. 15 to Dec. 10. During that stretch, he compiled a six-game winning streak, posted three shutouts and registered a 1.61 GAA and a .946 save percentage.

"It's been good," he said of his year in Calgary. "Right from the start, I felt good about my game ... I think when you're in a Canadian market, there's obviously more attention when you have success. It's been fun for me.

"For me, I'm excited about being a Flame and trying help this team push for a playoff spot. That's where my focus is and it's been exciting this year. We're in a good spot right now and we want to keep rolling as a team and get in the playoffs."

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