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TKACHUK A GAME-TIME DECISION

The rookie forward did not skate this morning due to a maintenance issue

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

When Curtis Lazar was asked to swap jerseys during this morning's skate, he was initially confused by the the request.

"It was probably three quarters (done) before I realized why I changed into a red jersey - Chucky wasn't out there," he chuckled.

"Me and Freddie are kind of on standby at this point. I don't know if I'm in or not. I'm going to prepare like I am and just get ready."

With Matthew Tkachuk absent from practice due to a maintenance issue and being deemed a game-time decision by head coach Glen Gulutzan, tonight's tilt against the Boston Bruins could end up being Lazar's Flames debut.

The forward, acquired from the Ottawa Senators on Mar. 1, has been patiently waiting to get into the lineup but with the team on a 10-game winning streak, he understands the coaching staff's rationale when it comes to keeping the roster intact.

"We've got a great thing going here and to see the mood around the dressing room, the vibe around the city and everything, it's exciting," he said. "I know for myself, I'm chomping at the bit to get the opportunity to show everyone that I can fit in with this team and make a difference. If that's tonight, great, but if not, keep on preparing and get ready for when that time comes."

Lazar has had two weeks to soak up the Flames systems, working with the coaches to get details down and make sure he's ready to play when called upon, and he is confident in his ability to slide into the lineup.

"If the time comes today, I'm going to be going. I'm going to leave it all on the ice. I feel like I've got a lot to prove and it's only the first step," he stated.

"The systems are one thing - it really suits my style of game. Back in Ottawa, they played a little bit more of a trap and for myself, it (held) me back and a little bit of hesitation which kind of lead to a few problems on the ice for myself. I've just got to get back to being myself - going out and playing and just having some fun."

As Lazar mentioned, the Flames could also turn to Freddie Hamilton if Tkachuk is unable to play. His last game came on Feb. 18 in a 2-1 overtime setback to the Vancouver Canucks. Hamilton has one goal in 22 games this season.

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