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Duo will return to lineup in pre-season tilt against Jets Monday - Lack will get start in net

by TY PILSON @typilson /

Top-line centre Sean Monahan and sophomore sensation Matthew Tkachuk will be in the lineup when the Flames play the Jets Monday night in Winnipeg.

Head coach Glen Gulutzan confirmed Sunday the duo, who didn't play in Friday's 4-2 win over the Coyotes, will be in the lineup.

Monahan sat out on Friday for maintenance and Tkachuk has been sidelined in pre-season game action as a precautionary measure for a hip issue.

"We're not putting him in if we were worried about him," said Gulutzan of Tkachuk. "So we think he's good to go and, ya, he needs some game action now, for sure."

Mikael Backlund, who centres the Flames' vaunted 3M line with Tkachuk and Michael Frolik, looks forward to welcoming the sparkplug left-winger back into the fold.

"Ya, it'll be fun," said Backlund. "It's exciting to play with Chucky, for sure. He gets in there, gets his nose dirty and he's not afraid, which is great. He just goes out there and plays his game and he's a great guy to be around."

Gulutzan also announced that Eddie Lack will get the start against the Jets and is expected to play the entire game.

With 40 players remaining in camp (26 forwards, 10 defencemen, four goalies), Gultuzan said Monday's game will be another important audition for a handful of hopefuls.

"Ya, we're getting there," said Gulutzan of the process of cutting down the camp roster. "But we still have some decisions to make. We've got a few guys playing really well and we're going to have some tough decisions, so most of those guys will be in the game. Lots of guys are going to get another chance tomorrow.

"It's a combination of both (evaluation and reward)," he explained. "We've had some young guys that have played really well and tested really … we've also got some guys that are knocking at the door and we have some tryout guys who are knocking at the door, so we want to see everybody here."

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