CALGARY - Andrew Mangiapane is making his mark early on this season.
The 23-year-old was elevated to the second line with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund mid-way through Tuesday's 4-3 OT setback to the LA Kings and slid seamlessly into the fold. On Wednesday, he remained on the line through the team's practice at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Mangiapane has been impressive when it comes to driving the play early on this season, posting a 65.22% even-strength SAT (also known as Corsi-For percentage). That leads the Flames through their first three games of the year and comes with approximately 59% of Mangiapane's even-strength zone starts coming in the defensive zone, as per the NHL's enhanced stats.
"He's been good," head coach Bill Peters said. "He got bumped up into that spot against Vancouver and we responded and became better. He did the same thing last night - he got bumped up again and that line became a very effective line so we'll definitely leave him there for the start of the road trip."
On defence, TJ Brodie and Michael Stone were paired together and could suit up as a duo on Thursday in Dallas.
"We'll get (Stone) in - if not tomorrow, it will be on one of the back-to-backs," Peters confirmed. "But there's a chance he could play tomorrow in Dallas."
In net, David Rittich and Cam Talbot both practiced and both are expected to play at points on the upcoming road trip.
"We've got a back-to-back coming up ... we want to get Talbs in," Peters said. "Initially, the plan was to play him against LA but Ritter was coming off a shutout and day off so it's pretty tough to make that change at that point.
"We'll beat it up on the flight but you'll see (Talbot) soon."
Check out Wednesday's lines, pairings, and goaltenders from practice:
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Andrew Mangiapane
Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Sam Bennett
Tobias Rieder - Mark Jankowski - Austin Czarnik / Michael Frolik
Mark Giordano - Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
TJ Brodie - Michael Stone
The Flames are in action on Thursday when they take on the Stars in Dallas. Game time is 6:30 p.m. MT with Sportsnet 360 carrying the television broadcast. The Flames are back at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 15 when they host the Philadelphia Flyers. Tickets are available HERE.