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At the Rink: Coyotes at Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler and goaltender Karri Ramo will look to keep personal streaks alive Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes.

Ramo stopped 26 shots for his second consecutive shutout and Hudler had a goal and two assists to extend his goal scoring streak to four games in Calgary's 3-0 win against the Coyotes at Gila River Arena last Saturday.

Each will put their runs on the line again against Arizona at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"It's just a bit of luck," Hudler said. "We don't get over-excited about it though.

"It gives you that extra confidence. You know you're going to play well. We've got a good group of guys. You feel better. You feel like you want to make that extra move without messing it up. It's going well right now."

Calgary coach Bob Hartley wouldn't downplay the difference Hudler has made, however, with the Flames earning three wins during the four-game run.

And not just for his scoring, either.

"That's the best that I've seen Jiri since he's been a Flame," Hartley said. "He's always been very productive, but the part many are missing right now on Jiri's game is the commitment to the total game. You look at him backcheck, you look at him in our zone, you look at him take care of the kids. He's been not only a great player on the ice but he's been a great leader in the room and around the team."

But the goals don't hurt, Hartley said.

"You probably know this but he's been on the ice for our last six goals," he said. "He's a big motor for us and obviously he's a big part of our hockey club."

While Hudler has been finding the back of the net, Ramo has been keeping pucks out of it.

With a win against the Coyotes and a 32-save performance against the San Jose Sharks last Wednesday, the NHL's Third Star of the Week earned consecutive shutouts in his first set of back-to-back starts this season. Ramo is the first Flames goaltender since Miikka Kiprusoff (Feb. 27 and March 1, 2011) to earn consecutive shutouts and the first since Mike Vernon (Dec. 14-15, 1992) to accomplish the feat on the road.

Dating to a 5-4 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 22, Ramo has gone 134:34 without allowing a goal. He'll try to extend that total with his third straight start.

"Coming back to [Ramo], he's in the zone," Hartley said. "He sees pucks. He's very quick. Certainly he's very confident.

"I think [Ramo] gave us some real good stretches last year. I think he's pretty consistent. Obviously when you get two shutouts in a row and you're much better than consistent. We always know what we're going to get from [Ramo]. It's about pride, making sure he's focusing on details. I see him every day in the gym, see him getting ready.

"This guy is a true pro and his play right now is certainly helping us a great deal."

Here are the projected lineups:


Lauri Korpikoski - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Tobias Rieder - Sam Gagner - Shane Doan

Brandon McMillan - Martin Hanzal - Martin Erat

Kyle Chipchura - Joe Vitale - B.J. Crombeen

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Michael Stone

David Schlemko - Connor Murphy

Mike Smith

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Rob Klinkhammer, Brendan Shinnimin, Chris Summers

Injured: David Moss (upper body), Brandon Gormley (lower body)


Curtis Glencross - Sean Monahan - David Jones

Johnny Gaudreau - Josh Jooris - Jiri Hudler

Michael Ferland - Markus Granlund - Paul Byron

Brandon Bollig - Lance Bouma - Sven Baertschi

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Ladislav Smid - Deryk Engelland

Karri Ramo

Jonas Hiller

Scracthed: Brian McGrattan, Corban Knight, Raphael Diaz

Injured: Sam Bennett (shoulder surgery), Mikael Backlund (abdomen), Joe Colborne (upper body), Matt Stajan (knee), Mason Raymond (shoulder)

Status report: The Coyotes didn't have a morning skate Tuesday. ... Raymond, who has missed 15 games, and Stajan, who has missed 14, have resumed practicing with the Flames.

Who's hot: Rieder set an NHL record by scoring two shorthanded goals in a 58-second span in Arizona's 5-2 win Monday against the Edmonton Oilers. … Brodie has points in three straight games, including two goals and three assists, for the Flames.

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