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PROJECTED LINEUP - FLAMES VS. OILERS

Calgary's projected forward lines, D pairings and starting goaltender

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

Camp is coming to an end.

The evaluations are ongoing, but the roster is nearing completion.

Tonight, the Flames will dress "close" to what their opening-line lineup will look like as they host the Edmonton Oilers in their final pre-season contest (7 p.m. MT / streamed live on CalgaryFlames.com and Facebook.com/NHLFlames).

Tobias Rieder - a former Oiler who's in camp on a PTO - will get one last look as he hopes to earn a contract, lining up alongside Mark Jankowski and Austin Czarnik.

Following Thursday's game in San Jose, Head Coach Bill Peters called Rieder an "elite" penalty killer after creating several short-handed opportunities in a 4-1 setback to the Sharks.

"We went and looked at his goals throughout his career, and he's usually around 12 to 16," Peter said. "Last year, he got snake-bit, lost confidence and it never went in for him. You see early this year, the chances that he's generating. If he generates those chances on a consistent basis, he's going to score.

"We like the energy he plays with, the maturity he plays with, the strong on the wall, the strength in battles, speed on the forecheck.

"There are a lot of good things with this player."

Rieder has two assists and nine shots on goal in four games to this point.

Meanwhile, Derek Ryan has been battling an illness for the past couple of days and was not on the ice this morning. As a result, Sam Bennett will take over in the middle, joining Milan Lucic and Andrew Mangiapane on a line comprised entirely of left-wingers.

"(Bennett) can play up and down the lineup, play all three forward positions," Peters said. "We had some different options, but we wanted to give him a look there. With no Doc, we'll err on the side of caution with him and allow Benny a chance to play in the middle.

"A good opportunity for him there."

David Rittich will get the start in goal, but is not guaranteed to finish the game. Peters hinted that Cam Talbot - who stopped all 24 shots he faced on Thursday at the Shark Tank - may be used at some point after the halfway mark.

 

Here are the forward line combinations and D pairs used at the morning skate:

 

FORWARDS

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Milan Lucic - Sam Bennett - Andrew Mangiapane
Tobias Rieder - Mark Jankowski - Austin Czarnik

 

DEFENCE

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Andrew MacDonald - Rasmus Andersson

 

GOALTENDERS

David Rittich
Cam Talbot

 

POWERPLAY UNITS

PP1:
Matthew Tkachuk
Elias Lindholm - Sean Monahan - Johnny Gaudreau
Mark Giordano

PP2:
Milan Lucic
Austin Czarnik - Mikael Backlund
Rasmus Andersson - TJ Brodie

 

Earlier this morning, the Flames released forward Devante Smith-Pelly from his PTO.

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