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Ferland returns to lineup in arena where he was first elevated to top line back on Feb. 21

by TY PILSON @typilson /

Micheal Ferland returned to the Flames fold Thursday and will slide back into his spot on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan when Calgary plays in Nashville tonight (5 p.m., Sportsnet Flames, SN960).

Ferland had been quarantined and under medical supervision since Sunday to make sure he hadn't contracted the mumps.

He was cleared to play by team medical staff after missing the previous two games and arrived in Music City U.S.A. in time for Thursday's morning skate.

"I'm excited to get back in the lineup and play again for sure," said Ferland. "It'll be a big game tonight, you know, obviously Nashville has been playing really good and we just gotta keep playing the way we've been playing and battle through."

Ferland was able to stay active and workout while he was sidelined which kept him in game shape.

"It felt good," said Ferland after getting off the ice. "I skated back in Calgary and I feel fine. I wasn't sick, I wasn't feverish, so that's why I wasn't sure if it was mumps or not."

Coach Glen Gulutzan said it was fortunate that Ferland was able to maintain his fitness during his time away from the team.

"He's went through the protocol and now he's back here and it's going to be good to get him back in," said Gulutzan. "We went through everything so he's good to go. But whatever it was he didn't feel that many effects so he got to work out on his own and do those things. So, that's a good sign and hopefully we get the player we had before."

It was back on Feb. 21 in a 6-5 overtime thriller against the Predators in Nashville that Gulutzan elevated Ferland to the top line.

He scored twice in that game and has four more goals since then, playing with the club's two big scoring stars

 "It was just a gut feeling)," said Gulutzan, when asked what led to him putting Ferland with Monahan and Gaudreau. "Just the way he'd played prior to that coming off the break. He'd had a lot of jump, was playing hard. I thought he did a great job over the break , I said that before, of getting himself prepared … just a gut feel he had all the attributes and just the way he was playing I felt that was a good progression for him. We'd talked to him about how we wanted him to play in that role and he's done a great job."

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