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Preview: Flames @ Leafs

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (31-35-6) at MAPLE LEAFS (25-35-11)

TV: SNW, TSN4, NHL.TV (5:30 PM MT)

Season series: The Calgary Flames defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 9. Defenceman Dougie Hamilton and forward Markus Granlund each had a goal and an assist for Calgary. Defenceman Frank Corrado had two assists for Toronto.

Flames team scope: Calgary has won three of four after a 4-1 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday to begin a three-game road trip. Goalie Jonas Hiller will start the second half of the back-to-back after Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves against Montreal to win in his first NHL game since Jan. 13, 2015. The Flames acquired Backstrom, 38, from the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 29. "He's worked so hard for us,” center Sean Monahan said. “He comes in every day like a pro, and obviously that's a big win and we want to get that one for him." Monahan had two goals and an assist; he has seven points (five goals) in the past four games. Hamilton had three assists for the second time in four games.

Maple Leafs team scope: Forward Leo Komarov, whose 19 goals lead Toronto, will return after missing two games because of a lower-body injury, the Toronto Sun reported Sunday. Goalie Jonathan Bernier is expected to start. Rookie forward Nikita Soshnikov (upper body) will not play after he was injured in a 4-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, the Maple Leafs’ third win in their past four games. The 22-year-old has two goals and three assists in 11 games since being recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. With veteran forwards Peter Holland (upper body), Brooks Laich (personal reason), Brad Boyes (shoulder) and Tyler Bozak (concussion) out, young players William Nylander, 19, Connor Brown, 22, and Zach Hyman, 23, likely will stay up with the Maple Leafs, who were eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. “There’s way more excitement in the room when you’re going in the playoffs and you’re chasing the big silver trophy,” coach Mike Babcock told the Sun. “That’s a lot more fun than this. In saying that, they are good players and they’re trying to get better.”

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