It might be due to unfortunate circumstances but Eddie Lack has a chance to get into a rhythm in net.
With Mike Smith leaving Monday's game with an upper body injury, Lack played the final 40:00 of the Flames' 7-4 win over the St. Louis Blues and now will get the start this evening in Detroit.
"It's a great opportunity for me to show that I can play and I can win games with this team. I'm excited. It's going to be a new arena to play in too, that I haven't played in before," the netminder said following the team's morning skate at Little Caesars Arena.
"I'm trying to get into a groove here again, just trying to see the puck through traffic and play the puck well because I felt like that's been the biggest issue for me when I haven't played a lot. It's little things and it's obviously nice to get a second game in three days because you feel like you're into it."
In Monday's victory, Lack made 13 saves on the 15 shots he faced in the final two periods, including an incredible pad stop on Dmitrij Jaskin to preserve the Flames' lead in the third stanza.
"He went in the other night against St. Louis and did a real good job. If there's anything to Smitty leaving the game the other night, it's Eddie coming in and getting a little bit of playing time," assistant coach Dave Cameron noted.
"You need two goalies in this league. We have full confidence in Eddie and it's his chance now to come in and help out our team."
Lack has appeared in three games this season, getting one start in that stretch, and holds a 1-1-1 record. While it can be difficult to go through lengthy stretches without game action, he understands the situation and has put in plenty of work in practice to keep himself as prepared as possible for when scenarios like this arise.
"I'm not going to lie - I'm a competitor and I want to play, I want to play games. But I feel that Smitty has been playing so well too, so there hasn't really been any reason to throw me in," he chuckled. "It's a great opportunity for me here tonight and I'm looking forward to getting my second game in three days."
Smith is officially listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury. In his absence, Jon Gillies has been recalled from the Stockton Heat on an emergency basis.
Cameron confirmed that Smith will meet the team in Philadelphia later this week.